Tuesday, September 20, 2011

White Bean and Bacon Soup with Mediterranean Croutons

Here is the perfect meal for a chilly, rainy autumn night.  This slow-cooker soup is warm and creamy, with a delicious smokiness from the bacon.  You can get it into your slow cooker in 10 minutes before you leave for work in the morning, and come home to a delicious, home made belly warming soup with very little further effort.

I've adapted this (a little) from another great slow cooker cookbook from Beth Hensperger.  I love her contemporary slow cooker recipes!  This one is from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two, but we got a good four servings out of it.  I decided to puree it, because I love creamy bean soups.  With an immersion blender, it takes only 5 minutes.  If you don't have an immersion blender already, you have to get one!  You will love it!  I added the croutons for a little crunchy topping, and they were a wonderful addition.

I used my smaller slow cooker here -- not my large, new fancy one.  Slow cookers function better when they are 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full, and as this is a smaller recipe, it is best suited to a smaller slow cooker.

White Bean and Bacon Soup with Mediterranean Croutons
serves 4
adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two

1 cup dried small white beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup tomato sauce
5-6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 oz bacon or turkey bacon
ground pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 cup Mediterranean croutons (see below)

1. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp and browned.  Drain the fat and allow cool for a minute or two.
2. Meanwhile, place the beans, onion, carrot, garlic, tomato sauce, and broth in the slow cooker.  Crumble the bacon and add to the slow cooker.
3.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
4.  Add ground pepper and red wine vinegar to taste.  Blend with an immersion blender (optional).
5. Serve in large bowls, and top with croutons.

Mediterranean Croutons
Preheat over to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut whole grain bread into 1/2 inch cubes (left over bread is ideal).  In a large bowl, mix together 1-2 Tbsp olive or canola oil, a pinch of ground pepper, and a couple of teaspoons of your favorite Mediterranean Herb seasoning (I am still obsessed with the one from McCormick's Perfect Pinch).  Toss the bread cubes into the bowl, and stir until the bread is well coated.  Spread the bread out onto cookie sheets, and put into the coven.  Bake for 30 minutes or so, until crunchy.


  1. Ooooh white bean and bacon sounds like a great combo! I'm looking forward to soup season :)

  2. This looks nice and thick with lots of flavor from the beans, tomatoes and bacon. Yum...the croutons are a great touch!

  3. white bean soups are totally my kind of thing and I love that this is a slow cooker recipe! I need more of those now that my hours at lab are getting longer.

  4. This looks fantastic! I love crockpot soups.