8 ounces (1 1/4 cups) dried 15-bean or 13-bean soup mix (just beans, discard any flavoring packets)
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sliced sausage and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until most pieces become spotty brown. Place the sliced sausage into a slow cooker.
Return the pan to the burner and heat 2 more teaspoons of oil. Place minced onion in skillet and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom until onion becomes translucent and begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for just 30 seconds. Pour 1/2 cup water into the skillet and scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom. Pour the liquid-onion mixture into the slow cooker over the sausage.
Pour in the chicken broth, the remainder of the water, beans, bay leaves, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Give it a gentle stir and cover. Cook on low 8-10 hours.
Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the fresh spinach, and let the soup sit for about 5 minutes, then serve.
Recipe by The Goldilocks Kitchen at https://goldilockskitchen.com/2018/01/chicken-apple-sausage-13-bean-soup.html