Friday, February 20, 2009

Slow Cooker Southwestern Beans

This is a staple in our house for nights when I won't have time to cook. I am still feeling very pleased with myself for freezing so many red peppers last fall--the supply is going strong and I am enjoying one of my favorite vegetables right through the winter. I usually serve these beans over rice, but you could also do them more like a soup. I've listed the vegetables I like to add, but it's entirely flexible: you can use more, less others, or none at all.

3 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 bell peppers (any color), diced
Tomatoes, chopped (optional: as many or few as you like; frozen or canned both fine)
1 cup corn kernels (frozen is fine)
3/4 cup salsa
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded cheddar for topping
Hot sauce for topping (optional)

Combine all ingredients except water and salt and pepper in the slow cooker. Add water until the beans are fully but not generously covered. Add more water if you want the end result to be more like a soup or you won't be able to check on the beans while they cook.

Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-9 hours. Add salt and pepper before serving. Top with shredded cheddar and hot sauce at the table.

Serves 6-8.

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