I’m in love with my Crock Pot. A little obsessed even. I talk about it often … which is what a girl with a crush tends to do, right? Seriously … Crock Pots are completely awesome though, am I right? Throw it in, walk away, come home to a completely cooked (and no doubt delicious) meal. If loving my Crock Pot is wrong … oh hell, I know it’s not wrong, so I’m not even going to finish that sentence.
This soup is one of the reasons our slow cooker has been out on the counter more often than not this past couple of months. Even though it’s been pretty warm weather-wise, I’ve still whipped up this soup a good half a dozen times every time even a wisp of clouds swoop in and the temperature dips below 70. Why? Partially because I was trying to perfect the recipe, but also because I couldn’t resist those vibrant yellow summer squash every time I stopped by my local farmstand, and I had to do something with them other than grill them. And also, it’s really, really good.
This soup is reminiscent of minestrone … heck, it probably even qualifies as minestrone, except I have another recipe that I love that I like to call minestrone, so this one is Slow Cooker White Bean & Summer Squash Soup.
Slow Cooker White Bean & Summer Squash Soup with Optional Andouille Sausage, to be exact. Because if your resident carnivore is anything like mine, said meat-eater will naturally appreciate the addition of smoky sausage to this otherwise-vegetarian soup.
Me, I’m good with the vegetarian version. Really good. It’s hearty, but not heavy. White beans, summer squash, and diced potatoes give it heft, while smoked paprika gives it a slightly mysterious smoky note. The fresh basil, torn in at the very end, reminds you that even though fall is near, it’s still officially summer. So when you add the sausage for the meat-eaters, it’s the cherry on top.
[box type=”info”] We buy our Andouille sausage already made, from Whole Foods (the habanero sausage is also pretty amazing, according to my resident carnivore). If you’d like to try making the Andouille sausage on your own, this recipe on All Recipes looks like a great start.
Slow Cooker Smoky White Bean & Summer Squash Soup with Optional Andouille Sausage
- 1 14.5- ounce can white cannelloni beans (drained)
- 1 14.5- ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups diced summer squash (about 2 small)
- 1 1/2 cups diced (peeled Russet potato (about 1 medium) (unpeeled Yukon gold or red potatoes would also be great))
- 1 cup diced onion (about 1 small)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups water
- 1 small rind Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Additional salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 7-8 fresh basil leaves
If adding sausage to half:
- 1/4 pound Andouille sausage
- Add the beans, tomatoes, squash, potato, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a quick grind or two of black pepper (or a hefty pinch), water, and the Parmesan rind to the Crock Pot. Stir.
- Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Remove the Andouille sausage from the casing and brown in a medium saucepan. Using a spoon, remove grease from the pan.
- Add a little less than half of the soup - about 3 1/2 cups - to the saucepan with the sausage. Stir and, over medium heat, bring to a low boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Tear basil leaves over both batches and stir.
- Serve with additional basil leaves and shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.