Yes, beer is an ingredient in this soup! Beer connoisseurs will appreciate the added flavor. But even if you’re not a beer drinker, the malt and hops that a good beer adds to this soup takes it from good to great. My family loves this soup and believes it’s even better the next day.
Check you grocer for a dry bean mixture of 10 to 15 beans prepared for soup. The mixture will contain small lentils, green and yellow split peas, black-eyed peas and several medium sized beans. I use Bob’s Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix. Some brands may include a “ham” flavor packet which you can throw it away as it contains unnecessary sodium and flavorings.
The combination of meats, spices, vegetables, and beer, along with the mixture of beans makes this soup a fabulous meal. That said, it is perfectly delicious made for veggie lovers by eliminating the meat and replacing the water with veggie broth. Just increase the spices to taste, perhaps include a pinch of fennel seed and viola! It’s fantastic! I prepared this in my 6 qt. slow cooker on the highest temperature and it was ready to eat within 4 hours.
Bean and Beer Soup
2 Cups of a 10-15 dry bean mixture
1 Cup diced celery
1 Cup diced yellow onion
1 Bottle of beer, I use a dark, full flavor beer
4 oz. of seasoned sausage in casing, such as Andouille, spicy Italian, or Cajun, etc.
1 chicken breast
4 oz. of cooked ham
4 oz. of med to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-14.5 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes
3 ½ Cups water
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp celery salt
¼ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried marjoram
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
5 cups of water to precook the bean mixture
Add the water, stewed tomatoes, beer and spices to your slow cooker and set the temperature on high.
To prepare the dry beans, add them to a small stockpot with 5 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut the meat into bite-size pieces and cook in a pan over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove the shrimp, place in a covered dish and refrigerate. Pour the remaining meat and any liquid from the pan into the slow cooker.
Drain the beans, rinse well and add to the slow cooker. The split peas and lentils will thicken the soup as they break down. Cook until the larger beans are done to your taste, about 3 ½ to 4 hours.
Remove the bay leaves. Add the shrimp and heat through. Serve with garlic toast or a dense French loaf of artisan bread.
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