Calico Bean Soup Slow Cooker Recipe

Good news! I'm not dying, I just have a sinus infection.


Things are going well in our house, and while I haven't been posting new recipes as often as I would like, I'm still using my slow cookers daily. In fact, as of this morning, I've made 183 new recipes since December 2009.

and the baby was born January 6th of 2010.

we've been busy!

I'm happy to say that I haven't gone off the deep-end (yet.), but am instead working on a new book of 200 (brand new!!) budget-friendly crockpot recipes that will be released in January of 2011. My due date is fast approaching, as is Easter, and summer vacation, and teething.

but we do have a trip to Disneyland planned after I turn in my manuscript. In fact, I'll be speaking/demo-ing, on Mother's Day weekend if you happen to live in the Anaheim area. I'd love to meet you!

Also, I've been having an EXTRAORDINARY (I think it's a glitch in blogger) amount of comment spam lately (like 175 robot-comments a day?!) so if you've written in to ask a question and I haven't posted and responded, it's because I got slightly (okay, more than slightly. I kind of freaked out.) overwhelmed last week and deleted everything. If you've got a burning question on a specific recipe, email me directly instead of going through the comment form.

I made a free-to-me soup last night, and promptly fell asleep while it was cooking. When Adam tried to wake me at 11:15 to remind me that the soup was still on, I muttered, "it's beans. they could cook forever, it's fine."

and I was right! This soup cooked on low for 19 hours. It's delicious, and can certainly be completely vegetarian if you don't use liquified chicken the way I did for broth.

The Ingredients.
serves 10, easily

1 pound assorted dried beans (I used small red, lima, northern, black-eyed peas, split peas, pinto)
2 cans (25-30 ounces approx) diced tomatoes (whatever you have on hand---flavored, Rotel, etc.)
3 tablespoons dried minced onion flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery seed (or chop up a bunch of celery if you already have it in the house)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups broth
4 cups water

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Soak your beans overnight in enough water to cover completely with another 4 inches or so. Drain well and add to pot. If you don't have time to soak the beans for hours and hours, put them in a large stock pot with a bunch of water and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let your beans sit for an hour, then drain and use.

After the beans are in the slow cooker, add all of the spices and canned tomatoes. Pour in broth and water. Cover and cook on low for 10-20 hours, or until the beans have begun to split and thicken the broth. You can also remove about a cup of beans and blend, then stir back in to thicken the broth nicely (or do a few pulses with a hand mixer!)

The Verdict.

I'm the only one who has had this so far. The kids are getting pictures taken for softball, and I need to get out of here and join them on the field. I had 2 mugfulls for breakfast, and am leaving the pot on "warm" so we can all enjoy it for lunch (and probably dinner, too). The flavor is mild, and beany. I didn't add any salt to my servings, but some may wish for a bit more of a salty flavor. I plan on giving the kids a small bowl of shredded cheese to stir into their servings.

Have a wonderful weekend!

p.s. I have been posting on Totally Together this year.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at March 20, 2010

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What they say about this article

  1. I'll definitely be making this! It looks great. I've hopped on board with eating less meat and this recipe popped up just in time for this week's shopping list. Thanks!

  2. I am going to try this and also do the beans. I've never done dry beans! (amazing isn't it) This sounds really awesome, thanks.

  3. This looks like a great winter dish!

  4. Anonymous3/20/2010

    This looks good. I think I will try it later this week. Hope you feel better with the sinuses. Mine have been bad this week. Three weeks ago, I took my daughter to play in the snow covered park and today it's like summer, and the same park, no one is wearing any jackets. but this abrupt change in the weather, not good for the allergy/sinus issues.


  5. I hope you're feeling better soon. Sounds like a perfect dish for another one of those chilly late-winter/early-spring days.

  6. Looks great! I will probably try the veggie version one day.

  7. So sorry you've been under the weather, Steph. I always felt like I was dying when I had sinus infections (thankfully, no more of those since going gf).

    That's an amazing number of recipes you have made! I can't wait for the new book though. I was sharing your current book with folks who stopped by my table and then again in the sessions I taught at our local Women's Forum yesterday. :-)

    Last, this soups looks great! It's amazing you cooked it that long though. I knew beans were hearty/resilient, but wow!

    Happy Sunday and feel better soon! Hugs,


  8. I've been on a real bean soup kick lately, so this looks like a wonderful recipe to try! thank you so much!

  9. This would be a great Sunday meal!

  10. If you use a nettie pot it really helps with sinus trouble. My husband used to get sinus infectios all the time. He uses his netti pot and hasnt had one in about two years, at least as long as he had been using it.

  11. Congrats on the new book! I can't wait to buy it! Between Friday and Sunday I made four meals via crock pot via your cookbook - all super delicious.

  12. Sounds good! But did you really mean a TABLESPOON of garlic powder? 'Cuz that sounds just a wee bit excessive. I usually end up adding MORE spices than other people, but in this case I think I'll try 1 teaspoon and see how that works.

    Hope you feel better. I've been there. It isn't fun.

  13. Hi Aidan,

    I did use a whole tablespoon---but you do of course what's right for you!

    oxxo steph

  14. I'm so excited about the next installment of your recipes! I am still working through the first book, but it is getting very dog-eared. I am quite sure by the time the next book is out, I will have tested out every recipe in the current book on my family and be ready to test some more.

  15. Anonymous3/22/2010

    I made this today and it was good with cheese and baked tortilla chips sprinkled over the top. I didn't have an assortment of beans so I used 1 pound of Great Northern beans and then added 1 can of Red Pinto beans. My 6 year old even had two bowls and I blended some for my 9 month old and she loved it. My 4 year old wouldn't touch it but she'd be happiest with cereal 3X a day! Next time I think I might add some browned ground turkey! Thanks for a great recipe.

  16. Another cookbook! I haven't been keeping up. I'm so excited for you and for all of us who get to buy it! You are awesome, girl!

  17. Anonymous4/05/2010

    I make a similar recipe like this in my crockpot. LOVE IT!

    Love my crockpot too!


  18. I made this yesterday and it was awesome! I accidently used a tablespoon of the seasoned salt, instead of a teaspoon but it still came out awesome! I love your crock pot recipes as I live alone- and I have meals for a couple of days! Thank you so much!

  19. Thank you for the recipe. I had the beans and wasn't sure what to make. I browsed for a good solution and found your site.

    Am thrilled to have a new place to look for great recipes.

  20. Katherin9/29/2010

    I am in the UK and after having your site recommended, I saw the Calico Bean Soup recipe and made it right there and then. I adjusted/varied ingredients according to what I had in cupboards but it was so delicious! My son had some blended smooth with cheese on top and he loved it too!! :)