Now that the weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing, and pumpkins are popping up at every grocery store and supermarket in my city, all I want to do is cook hearty and comforting meals! My favorite season, hands down is autumn, and now that Austin is finally feeling the spirit of the season I've been making more soups, chilis, oatmeal, and baked goods in my apartment. But, since I'm a full-time student at the University of Texas and I also work part-time, I really don't have the spare time to spend hours in the kitchen...
So.... my solution is my crock pot! Honestly, this thing has been a gem the past couple of weeks because I can prepare my ingredients the night before and then simply throw them all in the pot in the morning. I'm just happy knowing that I don't have to cook at all when I come home from work because it's already done!
Also, once I turn it on, I can leave for hours and come back to my apartment smelling AMAZING. It takes me right back to those chilly, autumn afternoons when I was in middle school and high school. I would come downstairs in long sleeves and fuzzy socks, hearing the muted hum of the crowd on tv cheering for their team during Sunday night football and my mom in the kitchen stirring a batch of soup in her huge cauldron-like pot. The spices from the soup would be so aromatic that I could always guess what kind she was making before seeing the ingredients or taking a bite. The combination of that with the sweet smell of vanilla and pumpkin spice candles filled all of the rooms in the house and made me feel as if fall were literally floating in the air. So cooking soup makes me feel... at home. It literally hits me with a wave of memories every time I walk in the door, and it feels so comforting now that I'm on my own.
For all of those recipes you never thought you would be able to make as good as your mom, (trust me I know, it's a high bar) I can assure you that soups at least are a lot less complex than they seem. This soup specifically is actually one of the easiest recipes to make. It's made with only 8 ingredients, and it takes about 10 minutes to actually prep them all. Trust me, the hardest part is waiting but thankfully, if you're busy like I am (and I'm sure you are) you won't even notice the time passing because you'll be out doing other things. This makes it PERFECT for meal prep, especially since it makes large batches.
Okay, but really though, who doesn't love Bob's Red Mill? Honestly, I have a plethora of BRM products in my pantry and over the years, as a health conscious person, my love for them has only grown stronger. This is especially true as I've tried more and more of their new products appearing on the shelves at my local Kroger. One of those was their Whole Grains and Beans Soup Mix! I've always been hesitant to buy dry beans because I never understood the process to cook them, and it just seemed to be a lot more work. BUT, if you have a crock pot or slow cooker it is actually really convenient. PLUS, buying beans from dry is usually much cheaper when you get them in bulk.
This package specifically worked well for me because it's premixed with different flavored beans and whole grains that compliment each other, so it takes all the guess work out of recipe testing. The actual packaged soup mix by itself is priced under 5 dollars, and I only used about one third of it in this recipe. You can find all of rest of the ingredients very cheap in the grocery store as well, making this a budget friendly recipe too since it makes such large quantities.
When it all cooks down it creates a thick, warm, and hearty soup perfect for those cozy nights in!
Hope you all enjoy this recipe and it brings the feelings of fall to you like it did for me!
Happier, Healthier, Stronger