Why don’t I use my slow cooker more often? I go through phases where I basically forget it exists, but then when I finally remember to use it, I realise how handy it is! Just a few minutes of effort for a healthy, hearty dinner. This jalapeño and white bean soup was amazing – it’s spicy, smoky, creamy, cheesy, all the things you want in a soup. And it takes just minutes to prepare (plus a few hours of waiting…)!
The soup only has a few main ingredients – beans, salsa, and pickled jalapeños to begin with, with smoked cheese and fresh tomatoes added later. I used a tomatillo salsa, which is green – it’s a bit tangier and slightly less sweet than a standard red salsa, and it worked really nicely. I found it easily in the Mexican section of the supermarket, but you can use a red salsa instead if you can’t find tomatillo salsa.
I made my white bean soup arguably too spicy (hot salsa + extra jalapeños = mouth on fire), so feel free to adjust the number of jalapeños you add to your taste – I’d recommend adding a few less than you think it needs, then you can always add some more pieces later when you add the smoked cheese if you think it needs it.
If you are a little heavy handed with the chilli, you need to learn to listen more carefully. You can also help to cool things down with some fresh avocado and a dollop of sour cream on top. And don’t forget a few tortilla chips for dipping! Why make another soup with boring old bread, when you can have crisps with this slow cooker jalapeño and white bean soup instead.
Slow cooker smoky jalapeno and white bean soup
- 2 x 400g tins white beans, drained (480g, or ~ 2 1/2 cups, when drained) - I used haricot and cannellini beans
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 150 g (~ 1/2 cup) tomatillo salsa
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) vegetable stock
- 25 g (~ 1/8 cup) pickled red jalapeno slices, finely chopped
- 100 g smoked cheese, grated (~ 1 cup when grated)
- 3 medium tomatoes, roughly diced
- To serve: fresh avocado, fresh coriander (cilantro), tortilla chips (optional)
- Add the two drained tins of white beans to the slow cooker, along with the chopped onion, garlic, tomatillo salsa, vegetable stock, and finely chopped jalapeños (you can add a few less jalapeños to begin with if you're sensitive to spice). Cook on high for 4 hours.
- Add the grated smoked cheese and diced tomatoes, as well as a few more jalapeños if you think it needs more spice. Cook for a further 30 minutes. If desired, serve topped with avocado and coriander, with tortilla chips for dipping.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe.