When we registered for our wedding one of the things I was most hoping to receive was our crock pot. I had used this one before and knew that it would be getting a lot of use in our home. The best part about our crock pot (other than how pretty it is) is the removable browning insert that can be used on the stovetop or in the oven! All of the delicious flavor from sautéing meats & veggies stays right in the pot, and it also makes cleanup a breeze without all those extra dishes.
We actually have yet to use it in the oven, but what a brilliant idea… After you make a dish in the oven, you can then place it back in the crock pot to keep warm! I actually used the crock pot on Thanksgiving to make my Butternut Squash soup, and it kept warm all throughout the meal.
About 3 years ago I created this recipe, before we had the new crock pot. And although it is still completely possible to make with a large pot, this crock pot make it (and cleanup later) even easier. For the past 3 years, no other soup recipe has even come close to matching this one. I took what I liked from a few different recipes and added my own twist on it to create this soup. I wanted something unique, healthy and delicious. And I truly believe this recipe checks all of those boxes. It’s been my most popular & most requested recipe for years.
It almost feels like I’m sharing a secret family recipe…
but this soup is too good not to share!
So without further ado… here is my favorite soup recipe of all time. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
- 8oz Kale (I love buying it already chopped in the bag to save time)
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 3 Sweet Potatoes
- 1lb Baby Red Potatoes or Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 2-3 cloves Garlic (I love garlic, so I normally use 3-4)
- 2 cans Cannelloni Beans or White Kidney Beans
- 4 large Carrots
- 4 Celery stalks
- 5 strips Bacon
- 2 cartons Low Sodium Free Range Chicken Broth (about 8 cups)
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper
- After washing the vegetables, peel and slice the carrots, and dice the sweet potatoes into small bite sized pieces. Dice the celery, red potatoes and onion. Finely mince the garlic or use a garlic press. Set aside.
- Cook the bacon until crispy. Crumble into small pieces, and set aside on a plate to cool, leaving the bacon grease in the pot.
- Add the Olive Oil to the pot, along with the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt (1tsp) & pepper (1/2tsp). *
- Once the vegetables have softened, add both cartons of the chicken broth, along with the potatoes, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer on low for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. **
- Add the Bacon, Cannelloni Beans and chopped Kale. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes to allow the Kale to wilt & the bacon to fully flavor the soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
*If using a crock pot, follow the directions up until step #4. After sautéing the vegetables and adding the chicken broth and potatoes, add the remaining ingredients and place the soup insert back in the crock pot & cook on low for 4 hours.
**Optional: After Step #4, before adding the bacon & Kale, use a potato masher to gently mash some of the potatoes in the soup. It will instantly thicken the soup a bit, making it nice and creamy.
This recipe will definitely leave you with a lot of leftovers. Which only makes this soup better in my opinion. It freezes beautifully too. Each time I make this soup I end up giving so much of it away to friends & neighbors that I run out before I can freeze it. However, when I’m making it for myself, I make a full batch because I love to freeze half of it for nights when I don’t feel like cooking, but want something delicious. If you’re cooking this for a small group of people, or for yourself, I suggest cutting the recipe in half. Hope you and your family and friends enjoy this recipe for years to come!