Our crockpot is going to get a lot of use this week. We're back from vacation, the fridge is empty and the produce box doesn't come until Thursday. Plus, I'm much too busy to deal with anything complicated or time consuming.
Three years ago I wrote a blog post for this soup and have been making it ever since. The post could use an edit, so I'll just summarize it here: this soup is super delicious and very easy to make. Start it the morning of the day you want to eat it or make it a day or two ahead.
2 cups dried flageolet or cannelloni beans (any variety will work)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 rosemary sprig
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 bunch greens (or other seasonal vegetable like summer squash or zucchini)
Sort the beans. This means look for little stones to remove. The easiest way is to dump some into one hand, hold it over the pot and shuffle through them with the other, pushing the beans into the pot after inspection. Biting a small rock can do some major damage to teeth, so don't skip this step!
Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme and any vegetables besides greens you are adding. Add six cups of water. Set the crockpot to low, for at least 6 hours. When you arrive home for dinner, test the soup to make sure the beans are soft (if its really been 6 hours you should have no problem). If the beans are still hard, pour the contents of the crockpot into a soup pot and vigorously simmer it on the stove over medium heat until they are. When the beans are soft enough, add the tomato paste, salt (start with one teaspoon) and greens, if you are using any
Let it simmer for about fifteen minutes more, then taste and salt accordingly. This is another one where salt is key - too little and nobody will touch it, just enough and everybody will love it. When feeding picky kids who don't like greens, just transfer the offending plant matter from their bowl to yours before serving. Include some bread and cheese at the table to round things out.
--- After dinner follow-up:
This time I added a few chopped zucchini and nobody even noticed they were there. My daughter remembers this soup and slurped it down, but my son refused to eat it until I forced him to taste a bite. Then he finished his bowl and asked to take more for lunch tomorrow. Excellent!