The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

The slow cooker chef: Spicy Creole bean and summery vegetable soup recipe

Creole bean soupHaving been a bit sniffy about slow cookers for years I am now a convert. It has just been a week since I tottered into the cottage with our virgin slow cooker. Since then she has slaved away preparing wonderful food. Generally this is fat free and so tasty that I need to officiate towards the end of the cooking time. Otherwise Danny is tempted to visit this well of wonder several times a day.

If I’m late back from work there is no longer a pinched face at the door. D might have polished off a litre of soup during the afternoon but he has not made a vast dent in our food budget. This soup is cheap, wholesome and so tasty that you would shell out decent money for a bowl.

On my visit to Daily Bread last Saturday, I spotted two intriguing soup mixes. Simply labelled Soup Mix no.1 and Soup Mix no.2. Clearly designed to be the heart of wholesome, filling soup. Intrigued, I put one of each into my hefty basket and staggered to the check out ( I had bought several other things all in 1 kilo bags.) With my daily decorating workout I have very strong arms but lifting the basket beside the till took Herculean strength.

Danny examined the contents of the two carrier bags when I returned home. He lifted out the soup mixes.
“These look interesting.”
And they did in a sort of winter sandals way.

I repaired to the bath with some solid vegetarian tomes. After an elongated sojourn I reckoned that the key to great bean based soup must be the combination of beans, fresh vegetables and spices. So I dressed and pointed Jalopy towards Newmarket. I trawled the herb and spice section carefully. Eventually I chose an expensive Creole spice mix (Bart spices, in a silver tin ?2.99) and whisked back home. When I prised opened the inner metal lid, I knew that I was onto a winner, the spices smelt so fresh and there was a decent amount so not so pricey after all.

I soaked the bean mix, chopped the fresh veg, added the stock and other ingredients and handed over to the Slow Cooker Chef. She simmered the soup gently all night. We rushed down this morning and before the kettle had boiled for the morning brew had tasted the soup. It was amazing.

If you want a vegetarian soup substitute vegetable stock for chichken stock and leave out the pancetta.

Slow cooked Spicy Creole bean and summery vegetable soup


  • 250g of Daily Bread Soup Mix No 2 mix (a mix of Chick Peas, Flagelot Beans, Aduki Beans, Black Eye Beans and Haricot Beans soaked for 10 hours)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 leeks halved, washed and sliced (not the green tops)
  • 1 red bell pepper deseeded and chopped
  • A splosh of passata (2 tblsp)
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules (I know what you are thinking but I was flagging and they are good)
  • 2 large pinches of decent Italian mixed herbs
  • I tsp of Bart spices silver tin of Creole spice mix
  • 0.25 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Good twist of freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g of chopped pancetta (this gives soul but adds fat)
  • 2 pints of boiling stock (made with 2 chicken stock cubs and one tsp of Marigold stock powder) This should be added last.


  1. Prepare all ingredients.
  2. Toss them into the slow cooker adding the hot stock last. Stir. Turn the dial to Auto and leave for 8-10 hours. If your dial doesn’t have an auto setting (this heats all ingredients to the right temp before switching to low) set on high and hang around until the ingredients start to simmer and then turn down to low and leave for at least 7-8 hours.
  3. If this is cooked overnight prepare for the possibility of eating this for breakfast and if you are on a budget remove the remainder immediately afterwards.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mazzaforte

    Thanks for the tip. Our slow cooker is quite hot even on low and bubbles away like mad. We are still alive.

  2. Mazzaforte

    Aghhhh Must boil beans and pulses before cooking in a slow cooker , otherwise you’ll die of something…cant remember what. There is something nasty in them which only dies if you boil. But then again could be Old wives tale.

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Happy New Year Cherry,

    We love our sc. It made a great bacon and bean soup last night as we snored above.

  4. Kia ora,
    We have been slow cooker converts for a while now.
    With me working late afternoons and early evenings at my tutoring job and M coming home off the road at variable hours it has proved to be a godsend. M cooks fresh when he is working locally, but in winter the sc really earns it’s space on our benchtop!

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kay

    Thanks so much for the recipe. I love frankfurters so this really appeals!

    Hi Pat

    The spices were a bit of a revelation. I took this soup down to work in Saffron Walden on Sunday (to my foodie painting friends) and they loved it.

    Hi Magic Cochin,

    I just soaked the beans and put on the slow cooker overnight for 10 hours. Boiling them for ten minutes it would make the slow cooking process faster – I’ll try that next time.

  6. magic cochin

    Hi Fiona – a hearty soup slowly cooking all day, what a homely thought on a winter day!

    Do you need to boil the soaked beans for 10 minutes before adding them to the slow pot?

    I really ought to start using our slow pot again (it’s back in the understairs cupboard after cooking the Christmas Pud). I like the idea of using it for soup.


  7. Ohhhhhh Sounds really yummy Fiona. Will keep a look out for the Barts spices next shopping trip.

  8. Kay Sexton

    Fantastic! There’s a brilliant split pea and frankfurter recipe below, but you do have to start it off in a saucepan …

    1 chopped onion
    1 chopped carrot
    1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
    1 clove garlic, minced
    2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1/2 teaspoon ground mace
    500 g yellow split peas, rinsed
    About two pints chicken or vegetable stock
    2 bay leaves
    Approximately 8 frankfurters, cut into coins.

    Place a heavy, wide saucepan over medium heat, and add oil. When hot, add chopped vegetables, and saut̩ until soft Рabout 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in mace. Add split peas, and stir to mix well.

    Add stock and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Boil fast for five minutes to soften the surface of the peas (otherwise they stay hard no matter how long you cook them)

    Pour into pot and stir. After about four hours, if desired, adjust thickness of soup with additional stock.

    Cook for about another 3 hours then either ddd frankfurter pieces to soup, and simmer until well heated or put soup in bowls and add frankfurters after heating in a microwave.

    It is the only soup that my husband begs for … I make up double batches and freeze it (without frankfurturs).

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