Navy bean soup without the navy beans?

>Most people who know me know that I really love making things in my crock pot. I love the simplicity of throwing a bunch of ingredients in, turning it on, leaving for work or class, and coming back 8 hours later to a fully cooked, mostly homemade meal.

A couple months ago I made split pea and ham soup in my crock pot, which I listed a smoked ham hock as an ingredient. Upon locating the smoked ham hocks in the grocery store I was shocked to find that I could only buy them in a pair instead of just one. So I bought the double pack and froze the second one. Then last week I opened my freezer for an ice cream sandwich and saw the extra ham hock. I decided to look up bean soup recipes that needed a ham hock so I could use it up.

“Navy bean-less” soup with a side of brussel sprouts

I found that there are a ton of ways to make bean soup so instead of buying a bunch of ingredients to make one of the recipes I combined and altered five recipes to match ingredients I already had. All of the recipes were variations on Navy Bean soup but I didn’t have navy beans so here’s my recipe.

“Navy bean-less” soup

2 cups of your favorite type of dried bean (sorted and soaked for at least 5 hours)
4 cups of water
1 smoked ham hock
1.5 cups chopped carrots
2 cups carrots (I used half a bag of frozen corn – thawed before putting in crock pot of course!)
0.5 cup brown lentils
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cayene pepper

combine all ingredients in crock pot, cook for at least 8 hours on high
take ham hock out, shred meat and put back in soup

It turned out pretty well and I didn’t have to buy a single thing. If I would have to guess the total cost of all my ingredients bought separately I would say it was around $12 and I ate it lunch and/or dinner for a little over a week.

Bottom line: Bean soup recipes are very versatile in the crock pot. Don’t like carrots? Add beans or peas instead. Don’t like kidney beans or pinto beans? Add chickeas and black beans! I’ve also seen recipes were they use bacon instead of a ham hock which is good for people who don’t want to deal with the skin and fat that go along with using a ham hock.

The best recipes are ones you alter to your preferences and keep updating every time you make it.

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