I love crock pot meals, but sometimes find it hard to find the right inspiration. Often recipes made for the crock pot are bland and boring, but this morning I was inspired to come up with a soup that's got nice big flavors. This comes together simply, so it's easy to throw together first thing in the morning and then forget about for the rest of the day. (If you are adding the sweet potato or other vegetables, for optimal texture you should plan to add those 2 or 3 hours before serving time, which is my ONLY fussy suggestion for this recipe)
Alternately you can use the quick-soak method (bring a pot of beans and water to a boil, turn it off and soak for 1 hour, continue with recipe as written). From start to finish, it took me 10 hours to get the beans really tender. Next time I will boil them for at least 30 minutes to get them a little bit soft before starting the recipe.