Slow Cooker Cajun 15-Bean Soup with Andouille, Ham and Bacon is hearty comfort food that’s easy and perfect for a winter night!
I am really getting into using my slow cooker! Because it’s just the two of us, I don’t bring them out too often because the size of slow cookers I own are too large for two servings. Therefore, I often wait to use them until we have a party.
However, that’s all changing the more I use my slow cookers–the ease and convenience can’t be beaten!
Here’s the perfect soup for your slow cooker! Hot, spicy, hearty and delicious Slow Cooker Cajun 15-Bean Soup with Andouille, Ham and Bacon
I don’t find myself with a bag of 15-bean mix in my pantry very often–especially one where I had no idea where it came from! Actually, I think my mother-in-law was the culprit during her Easter visit, possibly intending to make soup with the bone from our Easter ham.
Every so often I go through our pantry and look for things that don’t get used in our normal meal rotation the way rice or canned tomatoes do. Some things tend to get overlooked or pushed back. By the time you get to them, they’re out-of-date and have to be thrown out.
I found the bag of 15-bean mix and this Slow Cooker Cajun 15-Bean Soup with Andouille, Ham and Bacon was born!
When cooking with dried beans, you have to be careful so they don’t come into contact with salt or acid. They will not soften up and hard beans are simply awful!
If you have the time, soak the beans in cold water overnight in the refrigerator. If you’re like me and sometimes poor at planning, you can do a “quick soak.” Simply bring a small pot of water to a boil, add the beans, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for an hour. Drain and you’re ready to roll!
Because I don’t want salt or acid to come in contact with the beans, I use water or an unsalted chicken broth and add roasted chicken base later for flavor and depth. Likewise, I add the Cajun seasoning (most blends contain salt), tomatoes and meats (because they’re salty, too) after the beans have softened up. There’s still plenty of time for the flavor to develop. And, if you make this a day ahead of time, the flavor will develop from sitting.
Helpful tools and equipment to make Slow Cooker Cajun 15-Bean Soup with Andouille, Ham and Bacon (Affiliate Links):
- Water, for soaking beans
- 1 bag (20-ounce) 15-bean mix (discard any seasoning packet or reserve for another use, if desired)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 7 cups water or unsalted chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, or to taste
- 1 can (15-ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons roasted chicken base
- 1 package (1-pound) Andouille sausage, halved and sliced
- 1 package (8-ounce) diced ham
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Approximately 1 hour before starting the slow cooker, bring a saucepan full of water (large enough to hold all the beans when they expand) to a boil. Add the beans, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.
- Combine beans, onion, green bell pepper, celery, garlic, water (or unsalted chicken broth) and bay leaves in a slow cooker. Cook 4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low.
- When the beans have approximately 1 hour to go on high or 2 hours to go on low, add Cajun seasoning, tomatoes, tomato paste, roasted chicken base, sausage, ham and bacon. Cover and complete slow cooker cycle.
- Remove and discard bay leaf. Add parsley, cayenne and salt and black pepper to taste and serve.
Amount Per Serving Calories 566 Total Fat 8g Saturated Fat 2g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 5g Cholesterol 25mg Sodium 1400mg Carbohydrates 89g Fiber 24g Sugar 7g Protein 39g