Makes: 8 to 10 servings
Prep: 30 mins
Slow Cook: 4 hrs
- 1 pound dried large white beans, such as great northern, rinsed and picked through
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- 1 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed, shaped into 1/2-inch meatballs
- 1 bunch spinach, trimmed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Crusty bread, for serving
- In a large slow cooker, stir together the beans, chicken broth, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and Parmesan rind, if using. Cover and cook on high heat until the beans are nearly tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
- Place the sausage meatballs on top of the beans. Cover; cook until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.
- Discard the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and Parmesan rind. Stir in the spinach, then cover and let stand until the spinach wilts, 10 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice; season. Serve with crusty bread.