I bought my second slow cooker today and I just had to try this recipe out! It's my first bean soup and it is delicious. It has lots of flavor and I would recommend adding celery to the recipe, but it's not required. I didn't have any rosemary so I left it out. I used garlic powder instead of minced and it was just as good.
Cook bacon in medium skillet over medium-high heat until just cooked; drain (I used some of the grease in my soup for a great flavor) and transfer to 5-7 quart slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients and cook on high for 4-6 hrs or low for 8 hrs.
Remove rosemary sprig, mince leaves and add to soup for garnish before serving.
Serving suggestion: Place slices of toasted italian bread in bottom of individual soup bowls. Drizzle with olive oil. Pour soup over bread and serve.I served it with warm homemade bread and butter. Corn bread would be a great addition.