Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 6 Hours 10 Minutes
1 (24 oz) package bean blend (13 – 16 varieties of dry beans), sorted and rinsed
2 medium celery stalks, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium dice
3 medium carrots, medium dice
1 pound smoked ham, diced (ham hock/ ham bone can also be used)
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
5 – 6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken broth
1 (15.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
salt and pepper to taste
With butcher twine, tie the fresh rosemary and thyme together.
Place all of the ingredients except the diced tomatoes and salt & pepper into a 6-quart slow cooker.
Cover the crock-pot and cook the soup on high heat for 4 hours (or on low heat for 6 hours.)
If using a ham bone or hock, remove it from the slow cooker, cut any remaining meat from it, and add the meat back to the crock-pot.
Add the diced tomatoes and their juice to the slow cooker, and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook the soup for an an additional 2 hours on high heat, stirring occasionally.
Remove the herb bundle and the bay leaf before serving the soup with crusty bread or your favorite cornbread.