Bean Soup Italiano

1 c. dry great northern beans
1 c. dry red beans or pinto beans
1 can tomatoes, cut up (28 oz.)
1 med. onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 tbsp. instant beef bouillon granules or 6 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pkg. frozen Italian green beans or cut green beans, thawed (9 oz.)
1 tbsp. margarine or butter

1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
12 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette-style French bread or six 1-inch-thick slices Italian bread

Rinse dry beans. combine dry beans and 5 cups cold water in a Dutch oven. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand for 1 hour. (Or, combine dry beans and water in Dutch oven. Cover and soak beans overnight.) Drain and rinse beans.

1. Combine soaked beans, 4 cups fresh water, the undrained tomatoes, the onion, bouillon granules, the 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, the garlic, and pepper in a 31/2 or 4-quart Crockery Pot.

2. Cover; cook on low for 11 to 13 hours or until the beans are almost tender. (Or, cook on high for 51/2 to 61/2 hours.)

3. Turn to high, if using low setting. Stir green beans into soup. Cover; cook about 30 minutes more or until beans are tender.

4. Meanwhile, for herb toast, stir together margarine, garlic salt, and the 1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Spread some on 1 side of each bread slice. set oven to broil. Place bread, margarine side up, on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 45 to 60 seconds or until crisp and light brown.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top soup with herb toast.

Makes 6 servings.

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