Slow Cooker Sausage and Navy Bean Soup

I always have dried beans in my pantry. We love them. They are healthy, inexpensive, and they taste great. And today I whipped up a batch of Slow Cooker Sausage and Navy Bean Soup because there is a whisper of fall in the air.

Do I Really Need to Soak Dried Beans?

Let’s tackle the biggest question first. Do dried beans need to soak before cooking? The short answer is “No.” Some people swear by soaking dried beans, but you can find lots of experts who say it’s not necessary. I enjoyed this article about the quest to find the answer to the divisive question of “to soak or not to soak,” complete with science and research. Essentially, soaking beans doesn’t have any impact on intestinal relief, but beans generally do cook quicker if they are soaked.

Today I soaked my navy beans for the Slow Cooker Sausage and Navy Bean Soup recipe. Rather, last night I soaked my navy beans. More often than not I don’t, because, well, I don’t want to.

When it comes to making Crock Pot Black Beans, I never soak the beans because the beans give the liquid the beans are cooked in extra flavor adding body and depth to the dish.

Navy Bean Soup with Sausage Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried navy beans, soaked overnight (Or not!)
  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves, minced)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken stock

Crock Pot Sausage and Navy Bean Soup Directions

  1. In a skillet, brown sausage. Drain grease.
  2. In slow cooker, add soaked beans, sausage, onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, and about 6 cups chicken stock, or enough to cover the ingredients plus two inches. Stir.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours.
  4. When beans are tender, stir soup again. If desired, use an immersion blender to give soup a creamier texture. You can also remove a few cups of soup and blend in a traditional blender and add back in.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
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Navy Bean Soup Modifications

This recipe is easily modified to different tastes and available ingredients. You can substitute the sausage for diced ham or ground turkey, or eliminate the meat altogether and use vegetable stock to make it a vegetarian meal.

Celery or diced bell peppers would be a tasty addition, as would the addition of a small can of tomato sauce or a can of diced tomatoes in the last half hour of cooking.

Navy Bean Substitutions

Substitutions for navy beans in this recipe can include:

  • Great Northern beans
  • White kidney beans (Canellini beans)
  • Flageolet beans
  • Even a 16 bean mix would be delicious
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Other Crock Pot Bean Recipes (and Peas and Lentils)

One thought on “Slow Cooker Sausage and Navy Bean Soup

  1. Whoa! This recipe was simple and perfect! I added 4 strips of thick sliced bacon and a few stalks of chopped celery. Served with rice.

    I didn’t have a blender handy so used a food processor to blend up some of the beans for texture, like you recommended. Neat trick!

    Saving this recipe for sure!

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