5 easy tips for making excellent soup in your slow cooker

My personal favorite white bean soup recipe includes kale, sausage, and fresh herbs, but of course, there are as many recipes for white bean soup as there are beans in a typical can. And I don’t mean one of those little cans, either. So rather than sharing yet another recipe for slow-cooker soup, I will instead explain how to avoid some typical pitfalls and make the absolute best of what you have to work with. With such a common recipe and lazy utensil, you really have no excuse for botching it. So pay attention!

Make sure your crockpot is clean! Most of them can’t go in the dishwasher, so they must be cleaned by hand, which means it’s easy to overlook things. Gunk often sticks to the side near the top where it dries out a bit while cooking. If you haven’t cleaned all that gunk off, it will capture soap residue, which is the most common source of food poisoning. Germs cook to death, but toxins and detergents do not!

Set a timer. Laziness is, of course, the main reason for making soup in the slow-cooker, which is why so many guys love it but don’t get complacent. Indeed, you can usually get away with using raw meat because you know it will get well-done, but don’t be so lazy that you completely forget it all day. Mushy beans are gross, nobody wants to eat that. You have some flexibility with a slow-cooker, but if you forget to turn it off, you’ll have made a cream white bean soup recipe. Yuck!

Clean the vegetables well. Scrub them with a brush, and don’t be lazy about it, either. In addition to removing invisible toxins that merely taste nasty and are bad for your health, you’ll also get rid of sand and grit and bug parts that will feel gross and make your neighbors, friends, spouse, and boss very sad.

Cut the veggies up fairly small. A lot of people try to make artisan soups with ginormous pieces like they’re some kind of fancy chef, but that’s a trap. People want a soup that has more than one thing per spoonful, they don’t want to have to fight to get it in their mouth. Leafy vegetables can be bigger, because they’re kind of floppy, but aim for chunks of carrot and onion and celery that are absolutely no larger than a ping pong ball.

Use extra beans and put some of them in a blender on “puree.” This is for two reasons. White beans are kind of bland, so this will make sure you bring out the flavor a bit more. It also makes the soup thicker, the way soup should be. Thin soup is for posers.

These are easy tips that I’ve picked up over the years to avoid wrecking your white bean soup recipe. Please trust me, I would save you the experiences I’ve had, learning what doesn’t work, so that you can enjoy a great meal.