Technically, it’s still summer.
We’re so close to fall, though, I can taste it—especially on rainy days when it’s barely hanging on to 60°F outside.
The mere mention of autumn makes me want to feed my slow cooker addiction, gobble up savory comfort foods, and devour soups and stews by the heaping spoonful.
Like this pinto bean & chicken stew that simmers all. day. long. in the slow cooker. YUM!
You could just as easily throw this stew together on the stove top with canned beans. I happen to like the slow cooker because it makes the house smell glorious, and it can do all the work for me while I’m plugging away at work.
And for the slow cooker, I prefer starting with dried beans so that they don’t become absolute mush after eight hours of cooking.
Here’s what’s cool: the starch from the pinto beans turns the homemade chicken stock into a creamy broth that pairs perfectly with the fresh spinach and bites of tender onion.
It’s what makes it less of a soup, and more of a stew. Although, some might argue (ahem, Rachel Ray) that this is really more of a stoup.
I’ll continue with stew.
- 1 bag dried pinto beans
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 8 white mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup water + more for the beans
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken
- 1 bag fresh baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Add the beans to a large pot, and then fill the pot with water until it's 2" above the beans. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to keep it at a simmer, and let it cook for 10 minutes, uncovered. Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let it sit for 1 hour. Drain.
- Add the beans, onion, mushrooms, chicken, salt, pepper, parsley, 1 cup water, and chicken stock to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours. Add the spinach, and continue cooking for 1 or 2 more hours, or until the beans are tender.
- Serve with crusty bread.
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