The chill of winter can be brutal. It saps all your energy and leaves you tired and wanting nothing more than curling up under a blanket or next to a fire when you get home at the end of the day. On days like this, the last thing you want to think about is cooking. Eating out or ordering delivery every night can get really expensive. If only there was a way to come home to a heart, warm, homecooked meal waiting for you.

Oh wait, you can! All you need is a crock pot.

Crock pots are every busy chef’s best friend. Start your day by throwing in all the required ingredients and let them all cook together throughout the day. When you get home, all you have to do is give it a good stir and serve it up.

Take this recipe for example. Nothing cuts the winter chill like a bowl of ham and bean soup. Before going to bed at night or first thing in the morning, just toss in all the ingredients and let them cook down all day. Simple as that. No extensive prep, no complicated instructions. Just toss it in the ham bones, beans, onion, stock, salt and pepper and forget about it.

This ham and beans recipe is particularly hearty. A lot of recipes call for just one ham bone or hawk, but this one calls for two. This balances the beans to ham ratio, making a meatier soup. A hearty, meaty, healthy and low-fat soup? Sounds like a winner, doesn’t it?

We also throw in some collard greens a few minutes before serving. The collard greens give the dish a smoky and earthy tone and makes it all the better for this time of year. Collard greens are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that will help fight any cold or sickness you may run into this winter.

Ham, Great Northern Bean and Collard Greens Slow Cooker Stew

Ham, Great Northern Bean and Collard Greens Slow Cooker Stew

Ingredients

  • One 48-oz jar Randall Beans Great Northern Beans
  • Two ham bones or hocks
  • One large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 6 large collard green leaves

Instructions

  1. Drain the great northern beans but do not rinse them and place them in the slow cooker with the ham bones. Add the diced onion, water, broth, salt and black pepper. Cover and heat on low for 6 hours. Remove the ham bones and set aside.
  2. Using the back of a spoon or a potato masher, gently mash some of the beans in the slow cooker and stir. This gives a creamy broth to the soup while leaving some of the beans intact.
  3. Discard the fat and bones from the ham. Shred the meat and place it back into the slow cooker. Roughly tear the collard green leaves into small pieces and place them in the slow cooker. Cover and turn the heat up to high, cooking for 10-15 minutes or until greens are soft. Stir and serve immediately.
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Love this recipe? Crock pot recipes really are a delicious and convenient way to prepare a hearty, homecooked meal for you and your family. That’s why we put together a brand new cookbook full of Crock Pot Classics. This recipe is included, so be sure to download your FREE copy!

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