A few weeks back, a close friend wasn't feeling so well and I wanted to make her a big pot of soup so she didn't have to worry about making dinner. I wanted to make something that was hearty and nutritious that would leave her satisfied and since she is vegan, I couldn't turn to any of my tried and true slow cooker soup recipes since many contain meat or animal products.
Since she loves butternut squash, I knew I wanted to start there. Then I added dried beans, barley, fire roasted tomatoes, veggies, and some spices to round everything out. It's turns out a bit like a chili but a less spicy. If you wanted a true chili, I would up the chili powder and add some jalapenos or chipotle peppers in adobo suace. If you don't like spice, you could also use Italian seasoning instead. Both versions are packed with flavor and sure to keep you full.
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash, Bean, and Barley Stew
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- 6 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup dry kidney beans (or mixed beans)
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 28 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 U onion, chopped
- 1 U green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 U carrots, chopped
- 2 U celery ribs, chopped
- 4 U garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp. chili powder (or Italian seasoning for a non-spicy version)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin (leave out if using Italian seasoning)
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 U bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
Soak the beans overnight in water. Alternatively you can use boiling vegetable broth when you start the recipe if you forget to soak the beans.
Add everything to the slow cooker and stir. Cook on low for 8 hours or until beans are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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