Pork and Bean Soup

I am a dedicated food preserver and have the full freezers and canned goods in my pantry to prove it. I am also good about using “older” food items that I have stored. What is the purpose of going to all that trouble, only for it to sit in the freezer forever?

On a routine canvas of the freezer contents, I realized I had frozen leftover ham from this summer as well as some Italian sausages that were needing to be utilized. As they thawed in my refrigerator, I started thinking of what I would make. Then a cold snap arrived and I knew those pork items would become the basis for a hearty soup. I started soaking some dried flageolet beans that I had and pulled out some frozen corn and green beans from the summer garden. The creation is now headed to our regular rotation file. The beans and other vegetables can be swapped out if you want and so can the meat. But how rewarding to give new life to leftover cooked pork in such a delicious way!

Slow Cooker Pork and Bean Soup

Yield: 8-10 servings

1-1/2 cups dried beans (flageolets, navy, garbanzo, etc.)

8 cups low sodium chicken stock

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 cup whole kernel corn (drained if canned, if frozen no need to thaw)

1 cup green beans (drained if canned, if frozen no need to thaw)

1 cup cooked ham, cut in pieces

1 pound cooked Italian sausage, sliced thin

1 medium sweet onion, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic or onion salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper   

Cover the beans with water and allow to soak overnight. Drain the water and rinse the beans well. Add to a large slow cooker along with the stock, carrots, corn, green beans, ham, sausage, onions, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve warm.

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