My winter soup craze continues this week with an easy slow-cooker recipe featuring one of my favorite superfoods: beans. Beans are one of my favorite superfoods because not only are they fat and cholesterol free, but they may even help reduce LDL cholesterol in your blood. They are rich in complex carbs and nutrient dense in health-enhancing B-vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
My French Country Bean Soup is a healthy balance of fats, carbohydrates and (mostly) plant-based proteins and is infused with the Provençale flavors of tomato, garlic, onions and herbs. It’s hearty, comforting and best-served with a hunk of artisanal sourdough or whole grain bread. In the picture below, you’ll notice I topped mine with a quarter cup of diced avocado to keep it gluten-free yet still filling and satisfying. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can also keep this meatless and animal product-free by removing the pancetta/bacon (also making it slightly more healthy).
Perhaps better than the nutritional benefits is that fact that this recipe is EASY. Seriously. In three steps (and 8 hours in the slow-cooker) you will have a delicious meal well-suited for a Sunday supper or a week’s worth of packed lunch.
What You’ll Need:
- 1/2 lb (8-oz) thick-cut pancetta or bacon, diced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 2 Tbs sherry vinegar
- 2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes (with liquid)
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup dry red kidney beans (soaked for 8-10 hours)
- 1 cup dry garbanzo beans (soaked for 8-10 hours)
- 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
- 1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried parsley
- 2 Tbs Herbes de Provence
- 1 Tbs fresh or 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 Tbs garlic sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
How to Make It:
- Saute pancetta/bacon and onions over medium heat for 5-8 min. Transfer to your slow-cooker.
- Add all remaining ingredients to your slow-cooker, give them a good mix and let the mixture cook on the ‘low’ setting for 8 hours (slightly less or slightly more time won’t hurt your end results).
- When you’re ready to serve, remove the bay leaves and pour into big bowls.
Serve with some toasted hearty, whole-grain bread or a scoop of diced avocado and a side salad.