Anyway, this soup tastes pretty great, is easy to prepare, and reheats well. To make it even easier, I did most of the prep -- chopping, browning, etc -- the night before and just dumped everything into the slow cooker the following morning. I had originally intended to throw the zucchini in with everything else at the start of cooking, but then I thought it might go a bit squishy and no-one wants squishy zucchini. Twenty minutes at the end was just enough time to soften (but not squishify) the zucchini.
Slow Cooker Sausage & Bean SoupYield:4-6, depending on appetite
- ½ lb ground sweet Italian sausage
- ½ finely chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 15.5 oz can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes [Muir Glen]
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- ½ Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth [Pacific Foods]
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- Salt & pepper, as desired
- Brown sausage in a hot skillet. Transfer sausage to slow cooker. Drain oil from skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until onion is translucent.
- Put onions, garlic, beans, tomatoes, carrots, celery, seasoning blend, bay leaf, and broth in with the sausage. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours.
- Add zucchini, stir, and cook for another 20 min or until zucchini is desired tenderness.
- Remove bay leaf, season to taste, and serve.