What I Ate Wednesday: Crazy Bean Soup


Can you guys believe the weather we’ve had this week? I mean, it’s March, and Monday morning I woke up to snow! I guess that’s Iowa the Midwest  the United States for you. But, it did afford me the chance to share one last stew recipe with you this week. We eat stew year-round, but I tend to experiment a bit more with new stews (read: from a recipe) in the winter, when cooking in my crock pot seems especially appropriate.When I was at my parents about a month ago, my mom made Crazy Bean Soup. I really liked it. Phyll doesn’t remember eating it.

I still can’t quite believe that.

Anyway, my mom gave me the recipe and I decided to tweak it a bit before making it again. One ingredient that I wasn’t as crazy about was the brown sugar. I’ve been reading a lot about added sugars lately, and I didn’t want to add a half cup in if it wasn’t needed (when it’s already added in the baked beans). Luckily, I was able to swap it for honey and molasses. It wasn’t as sweet as the brown sugar version, but I think you could adjust the amount of honey to taste. The molasses brings in the “brown” part of the brown sugar.

I also tweaked some amounts of other ingredients. You could make this vegetarian easily by dropping the meat, and you could swap out ground turkey to lean it up a bit. But as I wrote it, it’s pretty delicious :).

I’d also recommend using dried beans for the majority of the ingredients, because otherwise it’s a sodium bomb, but I’m going to list the ingredients in the can amounts because that’s how I judged it (I used a mix of dried and cans).

It makes quite a lot of stew, so we’ve been eating on it quite a bit. Fortunately, it freezes and reheats really well.

Adapted from Crazy Beans.

Crazy Bean Soup

1 lb ground beef

2 slices chopped bacon

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup catsup

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp molasses

1 (2 lb) can baked beans

1 (16 oz) can kidney beans

1 (10 oz) box frozen baby lima beans (or regular)

1 (16 oz) can pinto beans

1 (16 oz) can garbanzo beans/chickpeas


  1. Brown beef, bacon and onion in skillet.
  2. If using frozen lima beans, cook for 8 minutes. If you’re using dry, make sure all your beans are cooked.
  3. Add all ingredients to crock pot. Cover, and cook on low heat for at least 4 hours.

I have a 2 gallon pot and it was FULL. So be prepared.

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One more thing today all!

Would you guys do me a favor and like my friend’s Facebook page? She’s an artist in LA with wicked cool paintings, and she’s going to be competing in the Red Bull Canvas Cooler contest. She will be needing votes from social media starting tomorrow, but if you like her page you can get the details as soon as she’s got them!

Renelle and I went to Iowa State together, and I’m so happy for her growing success in L.A. She’s totally rocking it … see? ->

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Do you gravitate towards stews in the colder months, or all year round? 


Share your favorite crock pot recipe with me!



  1. I’m with you – I use it more in the winter. I also have a hard time eating warm food in the summer. I think I get to hot. I dunno – or I’m just weird – whatever :)
    Melissa Love recently rocked the world with…Back to SchoolMy Profile

    • Lol, that’s okay, I’m weird too! That’s why I jive on salads in the summer. They’re just so refreshing!

  2. I loooove soups when it’s cold out! When I woke up to snow on Monday, I did the same thing!

  3. Mmmm love bean stews! I love mixing up even the same recipe just so I don’t get bored over time :)
    Nicole recently rocked the world with…Susan Komen Race for the Cure 10k RecapMy Profile

    • For sure. The nice thing about stew is that it’s super easy to change up. Plus, it still works when you run out of one ingredient…which I always do!

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