I don’t normally share recipes on this blog, but I just got in from walking the dog in 17 degree (F) weather, and decided to get out the crockpot and make some vegetable soup for dinner. My family is composed of some diverse eaters–vegetarians, meat lovers, generally fussy folks–but this soup makes everyone happy. Or at least everyone eats it, and that’s saying something in my house.
A couple of other things I like about this soup:
1. As long as we have basic staples in stock, it can be made without shopping
2. All the cooking can take place in the crockpot. In other words, no sautéing or precooking anything is necessary. You can make the broth any way you like. (Full disclosure: I like to use Knorr vegetable b0ullion, which involves boiling water in a pot and dissolving the cubes in it before adding it to the crockpot.) But canned broth also works great.
3. It’s pretty much impossible to screw up. The only caveat is to make sure you don’t use too much rice. If you do, your soup will become more like a stew. Which might be great for some people, but my family likes lots of broth for bread dipping.
4. Like many crockpot meals, it can be kept warm for several hours after it finishes cooking. This is great for my family, which sometimes needs to eat in shifts to accommodate busy schedules.
So here goes. The ingredients are :
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (or the equivalent amount of minced or crushed garlic in a jar)
- 2 or 3 average sized carrots, peeled and chopped, or half a bag of baby carrots
- 2 average sized potatoes, peeled and cut up
- 6 cups of vegetable broth (can be homemade, made from bouillion cubes, or canned)
- 1 14 oz can of any kind of beans (chick peas, pinto beans, black beans, whatever you like)
- 1/3 cup of brown rice (or any rice)
- 1 14oz can of diced or stewed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons of dried basil, or a handful of fresh, chopped basil
- black pepper, to taste
- a loaf of crusty bread for dipping
And that’s it. Throw everything in the crockpot, cook on low for eight hours, and you’ll have dinner for four hungry people. I don’t know what it says about me, but I love pressing those buttons on the crockpot and hearing it begin to cook. There’s something very freeing about knowing that I don’t have to think about dinner again until it’s time to eat.