Chunky Vegetable Soup in a Slow Cooker

Think your weeknights are too hectic for a home-cooked meal? Then you haven’t tried this recipe. With a little chopping and emptying of cans, dinner is served!

OK, so my crock pot was the one gift from our wedding that I don’t think I even opened until a year later. My sister and a co-worker actually suggested I break it out of the box and use it! My husband and I both work full-time and it was hard enough to get home relatively early, let alone get a hot, home cooked meal on the table. With a slow cooker (or crock pot), it does all the cooking for you! All you have to do is chop up some meat and vegetables, throw in some seasoning and voila! Dinner is served!

Now, you might be worried about leaving a slow cooker on all day (when no one is home). As long as you are cooking on LOW and it’s safely plugged into an outlet, you are fine. You can read more about cooking with slow cookers here: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Focus_On_Slow_Cooker_Safety/index.asp

If you are still not convinced, one last bonus: slow cookers use less electricity than an oven.

It’s been cold here in WA and my husband has been a little sick, so this vegetable soup seemed to be perfect! I chopped all of the vegetables in the morning, threw them into the crock pot and by the time I got home from work, it was done!

(Alternative if you want to add beef: add lean beef tenderloin and use organic beef broth. Season with salt and pepper.

For a thicker STEW, combine 1 tbsp of flour OR corn starch with a 1/4 cup of water. Stir until smooth and then stir into the stew towards the end and cook for another 30 min to an hour.)

Al’s Chunky Vegetable Soup in a slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • Half bag of Kale (I used 5 oz of a 10 oz bag from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1- 28 oz can, diced tomatoes in tomato juice (you don’t have to use the entire can)
  • 5-6 crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 qt Low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Dry Oregano (optional)

Directions

  1. Chop all of the vegetables (in whatever size you prefer)
  2. Place veggies in your crock pot
  3. Add the vegetable broth, can of diced tomatoes, fresh basil and dry oregano. Mix well.
  4. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours (or high for 3-4 hours)
  5. When ready, season with salt and pepper; taste
  6. Serve with bread. I am addicted to the Rosemary Olive Oil bread at CostCo. Toasted with a little butter (or not) – YUM!

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