Slow-Cooker Butternut Soup with Pinto-Bean Broth, Tomatoes, and Peppers
Oct 2, 2012
Linda Watson in bean broth, beans, bell peppers, fall, fat-free, gluten-free, jalapeno peppers, slow cooker, something from nothing, thrifty, tomatoes, vegan

Save the broth left from cooking dried pinto beans to make this hearty, easy soup in your slow cooker. Chunks of butternut squash add sweetness and a mix of peppers makes it hot and tart. I put all the ingredients in the slow cooker, turned it on high, went to the Carrboro Music Festival for the afternoon, and came back to dinner! In the picture below, you can see that I just rolled out a little whole-wheat pizza dough and grilled it for a few minutes to make a complete fall meal.

Use this soup to make your life easier now and later. The recipe makes twelve servings, so there was enough left for lunch on Monday and to fill to two quart freezer containers. It's a great way to put up  peppers while they are at the lowest price of the year.

thrifty slow cooker butternut squash soup made with pinto bean broth, fire-roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and garlic shown with homemade grilled garlic flatbread for a fat-free vegan meal

Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 4 to 8 hours. 12 servings. Oil free, gluten free, vegan.



  1. Mince garlic and set aside so the air can activate its cancer-fighting enzymes. Add butternut squash, pinto-bean broth, peppers, and tomatoes. This is a very forgiving recipe, so adjust the proportions to match the produce you have on hand. Add garlic and stir. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low all day or on high for about four hours, until a fork goes easily through the squash.
  2. Taste soup and add flavor brighteners if needed. Vinegar adds a tang that reminds me of hot-and-sour soup. Lemon makes it more Tuscan.
  3. Serve hot in bowls or as a sauce over quinoa or rice. Refrigerate any extra for up to four days or freeze for up to a year.


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Article originally appeared on Cook for Good, home of Wildly Affordable Organic and Fifty Weeks of Green (
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