This easy, Italian-style white bean soup is loaded with vegetables and leafy greens. Making it in the slow cooker takes only a few minutes to prep in the morning and it's ready in time for dinner. Plus the house smells fantastic as it cooks!
Soups & Stews
1pounddry white beanssee notes below
2large carrotspeeled and diced
3large celery stalksdiced
3clovesgarlicminced or chopped
Ground black pepperto taste
115-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1large bunch Tuscan kaleroughly chopped
114-ounce package Tofurky Italian Sausage (optional), sliced and cooked in a pan
Fresh herbsfor garnish
Rustic breadfor serving
Sort through and rinse beans several times in cool water. Add to the slow cooker along with the diced carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bay leaf, and dried herbs. Add the boiling water.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or LOW for 10-12 hours. Remove lid from slow cooker and add the salt and pepper, and diced tomatoes. Let cook for another 30 minutes on LOW or 1-1½ hours on HIGH, or until beans are soft.
Before serving, stir in the chopped greens and sausage, if using. Garnish with herbs and serve with a slice of bread.
Different types of beans will vary in cooking time needed to adequately cook and soften. Larger beans such as Great Northern and cannellini will need much longer than smaller navy beans.
If using Great Northern, navy, or another type of white bean (besides cannellini), the beans do not need to be presoaked, but can be if desired. It doesn't change the cooking time significantly. (I do not presoak except for cannellini and kidney beans. See next note.)
If using dry cannellini beans, add dry beans to a pot of unsalted water and bring to a rolling boil for at least 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow beans to soak for 30-60 minutes, then drain and rinse. The beans will now be ready to go into the slow cooker. Cook beans until soft and creamy. Eating undercooked red or white kidney beans can cause severe digestive illness in some people.
If the beans are already soft after the initial cooking time, add the tomatoes and greens and serve immediately. The hot soup will warm the tomatoes and wilt the greens enough.
This soup can also be made in a pressure cooker such as an InstantPot. Cook for the recommended time listed in the manufacturer's instruction booklet.