While walking through the cookbook section of my local library (which I do every time I visit it), a cookbook caught my attention: The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester. I checked it out of the library, brought it home, and proceeded to page through it reading through the recipes. There were easily a dozen recipes that I wanted to try. No more needing to skip through entire chunks of the book to avoid the meat recipes.
With the author being vegan, there are parts of the book dedicated to workarounds particular to vegans. And some of the recipes looked a little bland; written perhaps with the entire country in mind. Here in California, we have so many exotic ingredients available to us. So I immediately noticed places where I could add some changes and upgrades.
I decided to start with this recipe because we had multiple bags of sweet potatoes delivered that needed to be used up. I doctored up the recipe a bit.
On this particular December day, I was able to come home for lunch and get all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. I had an after-work holiday event to attend so I knew I wouldn't be home until a few hours later than usual. So I set this up to be our late dinner.
It was nice to walk through the door and pick up the scent of the simmering soup. This is a great weeknight meal for cooler fall and winter nights. Some good bread and olive oil goes along nicely.
Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup
- Sweet potato - About 3 medium to small potatoes, peeled and chopped into mostly equal-sized chunks
- Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
- Celery - 3 stalks, cleaned and chopped
- Diced tomatoes - 1 14 oz. can
- White beans - 1 14 oz. can of beans, drained and rinsed
- Veggie broth - 5 cups
- Greens - 1 15 oz. bag of prepared greens. I used a bag of baby kale leaves.
- Parsley - leaves of 2-3 sprigs, chopped
- Bay leaf - 1-2 leaves
- Parmesan cheese - grated
- White pepper - 1/4 tsp or more to taste
- Salt and papper - to taste
- Flour - 4 tbsp
The night before:
- Prepare the celery and sweet potatoes and store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- Add sweet potatoes, celery, herbs, beans, tomatoes, minced garlic, white pepper and broth to the slow cooker and heat on low for 6-8 hours until potatoes are softened.
- Remove bay leaf and parsley sprigs.
- Before serving put the flour in a bowl. Ladle some broth into the bowl. Whisk to dissolve the flour. Once it is fully dissolved add it all back to the slow cooker and stir to mix.
- About 20 minutes before serving add in greens and let them cook down.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with some cheese and garnish with chopped parsley leaves.
- Serves 4.