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- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- 1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium)
- 1½ cups sliced carrots (about ½ pound)
- 4 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 pound dry navy beans, rinsed and picked over to remove any debris
- 1 bay leaf (left whole)
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper (15-20 cranks from a pepper mill)
- 6 cups water
- ½ cup prepared pesto (see our recipe here or your favorite jarred version)
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- In a large (5-quart+) slow cooker, pour in the olive oil and tip to coat the bottom of the slow cooker insert.
- Add all of the other ingredients – EXCEPT the salt and the pesto – to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, remove the lid and stir the soup. Place half of the soup into a blender and process until smooth (leave the other half in the slow cooker). Pour the pureed soup back into the slow cooker with the un-pureed soup and stir to combine.
- Stir in the pesto plus 1 teaspoon salt and stir again to combine. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if desired.
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