I Eat Plants: Slow Cooker Bean Soup


Slow cooker bean soup: the answer to eating healthy for a really busy vegan life.

I’ve written before about trying to eat healthfully when busy.  My life has only become more busy since then.  There was a time when I looked forward to putting the slow cooker to work in the morning to have dinner ready when I got home, but now, I don’t get home until long after dinner time.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to bulk cook on the weekends.  I like to do that, but I also like to have my weekends available for more social activities (um, and Netflix binges).  I don’t want to live on dining out, PB & J and meals from a box or a can, so I had to figure something else out.

Occasionally I’ve maximized my bulk cooking on the weekend by making something in the slow cooker overnight- but it occurred to me, why do I have to do it on the weekend?  Why not during the week, to break up the monotony?

The answer to why had been that I was getting home too late to prep and get a meal into the slow cooker in one evening, and get to bed at a decent time.  So I figured by breaking some of the prep over a couple of evenings, it made the whole thing more manageable.  I only cook for myself, but if you’re cooking for more people you could certainly do slow cooker meals overnight more than once during the week.  The labor intensive part for me is chopping veggies- onions in particular.  Once you already have the cutting board and knife out and you’ve sufficiently cried while chopping, you might as well chop an extra one or two for other meals.

I of course want  a little more variety in my diet than just one soup.  But, combine that with leftovers from a meal or two from the weekend, a meal out, a giant salad or two, and maybe the occasional PB & J, you have much more in terms of variety.  I also like to freeze one or two portions right away to save for later- so another week I have another soup or stew or chili to chose from for my meals.

For this soup, I started with some nice beans I found in the bulk section at Whole Foods in Yonkers.  The nice thing about a soup like this is you don’t really need specific ingredients, as long as you have a liquid to cook it in and some veggies and seasonings and maybe a grain to add.  I happened to use farro, not knowing that our Seasonal Chef had used it this week, too.  I’m providing a recipe here, but please know you can really use anything you want!  Just make sure you get that slow cooker going.

Bonus of using the slow cooker overnight?  You may slowly wake up to a delicious smell in the middle of the night, then drift back off to sleep with even sweeter dreams for the rest of the night.  Can’t promise you will, but it could happen!

IMG_3531It’s not the prettiest soup, but it’s tasty and filling!



About Author

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan.

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