Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup – $5 Dinner Challenge

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on March 22, 2010

It’s Monday night. And time for another $5 Dinner Challenge!  This week’s slow cooker meal comes from Jennifer.

Jennifer is wife to Jason and mom to five-year-old Emma.  She blogs at Saving and Giving where she encourages people to save money and be generous.

Ingredients
1 pound dry black beans
1/2 pound diced ham
5 cups of water*
5 tsp. chicken bouillon*
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch

*You can substitute 5 c. of chicken broth for the water and bouillon.

Directions
1. Soak black beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a pan, cover with water, and simmer on low for an hour. Drain beans again.
2. Place all ingredients except cornstarch in the slow cooker.
3. Cook on high for 4 hours. (Erin’s note here: From what I know about slow cooking beans, it won’t hurt to cook them longer…say if you’ll be at work all day.  Cook them longer, then proceed with directions below.)
4. After 4 hours, use a slotted spoon to remove 1 cup of cooked beans and ham. Place them in a blender or food processor with a little bit of the broth. Puree, and return to the pot. Whisk pureed bean mixture into the broth.
5. Combine cornstarch with cold water in a small bowl. Mix. Add to the slow cooker. Mix with a whisk.
6. Let cook for an additional 30 minutes or until broth thickens a bit.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz@HoosierHomemade March 22, 2010 at 7:13 pm

That sounds good! Great for the upcoming leftover Easter ham!
Thanks so much for hosting!
~Liz

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FrugalFriend March 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I am trying really hard to add more beans into our diet. So far, no success. But we’ll keep on trying. Thanks for the recipe!

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Michelle March 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm

yum….I love black bean soup and I have everything for this particular recipe…thanks for sharing!

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Alea March 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Black bean soup is a favorite at our house! For some reason the last time I made it (from my memory, which is faulty at best) I made it too hot, I think I will use your seasonings as a guideline as it looks flavorful, but without the bite of some bean soups.

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Becky L. March 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Erin, just dropping in and saying hi and gonna use some of your recipes from new cookbook this week, finally.
I posted about my coupon binder and there’s a link to your coupon binder post. Thanks for your inspiration!!
http://grandmabeckyl.blogspot.com/2010/03/coupon-binder-system.html

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Becky L. March 22, 2010 at 11:48 pm

@Becky L., ooppss—this is ready to post yet, til Wed, 3/24. I forget that I’ve got it scheduled to post in the morning on Wed. :p–Becky

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Laura J. March 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Can you use something other than ham? Maybe turkey bacon?

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm

@Laura J.,

Yes, that would totally work. The ham is to give it some extra flavor. Turkey bacon would accomplish just that.

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Laura J. March 24, 2010 at 10:51 am

@Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom,

Any suggestions on preparation? Should I cook the bacon a little first or just drop it in the pot like I would do the ham?

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

@Laura J.,

I think either way works…to get the most flavor, you could just drop it in as if it were ham. It will get cooked!

Anyone else have thoughts on that?!?

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Dee Johnson April 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I sometimes use smoked turkey pieces instead of ham or smoked ham pieces in my beans or greens. I don’t know if it would work for this recipe, but you could try it.
This recipe sounds yummy! :)

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Joelle March 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I am so excited to make this black bean soup. The days my daughter has dance I have “slow cooker recipe day.” This helps us to get out the door on time. I will add this to my recipe list. Thanks!

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Tamara March 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I wonder why the recipe calls for soaking THEN cooking for an hour THEN putting in the crockpot. Seems like a lot of work. When I cook beans in the crockpot, I just soak them and then cook for about 4 hours on high. Seems like I could do that for this soup too.

Any thoughts? I am going to make this for my in-laws on Tues and don’t want to mess it up.

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 27, 2010 at 8:59 pm

It should work using the method you suggested. If anything you might have to cook them longer than 4 hours. I’ve always cooked beans on low for longer in the crockpot.

Erin

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Miss T March 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

This black bean soup sounds delicious. For another pulses recipe check out my blog. The Curry Chickpea with Rice dish is great. It’s easy, quick and cheap.

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Christine Milczarek April 30, 2012 at 12:16 am

This looks yummy but what would I serve it with? Serving over rice wouldn’t work would it? Suggestions?

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Marlie May 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I was thinking soft tortillas or chips w/salsa or guacamole and a salad.

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Marlie May 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Does this soup freeze well?

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Marlie July 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm

It doesn’t say how much cold water to mix with the cornstarch. I did 2 tsp. Hope that’s right.

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