It seems like whenever someone talks about what kinds of things they make in their slow cooker, it’s always soups,stews or chili. Me? Not so much. I’m a master (mistress? ) at making those stovetop so I don’t see the reason I should bother with the crockpot. Soups,stews and chilis are what you make when you have leftover odds and ends of stuff. Forget it if someone asks me for my recipe. I never use a recipe for those things and the whole process is very intuitive and maybe a little slapdash.
I guess there are basics to soup making one should know. Such as mirepoix. It sounds fancy but it’s only some veggies sauteed in butter and it’s used to flavor the broth. Onions,carrots & celery are the usual suspects but I often just use onion and garlic. Have I ever mentioned that the only 2 veggies I dislike are carrots & celery? I will eat them if they’re in soup but because I don’t especially like them, I don’t often have them on hand so I skip it.
Also, when you’re making a cream soup or a cheesy soup, add all your dairy at the very end. To make a creamy base, take about 4 tbsp butter, melt it in a saucepan. Add about 3 tbsp flour and whisk it together until it looks like a paste.Then slowly add,while whisking about 1 cup of cream of milk. Stir until it’s thickened . If you want it cheesy, add the cheese as it starts thickening and stir until melty and blended. Then add that whole glop to your simmering soup , stirring it until it’s uniform.
So, what I found out about soups,stews and chilis in the crockpot was that there is a learning curve.
- Because no water evaporates in the crockpot, you need to reduce the amount of water used in your recipe. Remember I said I don’t use recipes? This comes in handy in this instance. The right amount of liquid is just barely covering your veggies & what have you. If you plan on adding cream later on, the soup-stuffs should be just barely poking above the broth.
- No matter what your recipe says, do not just throw your cheese or other dairy in at the end. make your creamy sauce on the stove top (like how I told you how to up there ↑ ) and add it during the last 20 minutes of cooking. The first soup I made this month was a Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup, one of my fam’s favorite. Instead of using my typical method, I followed a recipe (crazy,right?). The recipe said to add cheese & milk at the end. It was a mess. The cheese was stringy and gloppy and gross and the milk just diluted the entire soup.
- Just plain vegetarian dishes only take about 4 hrs unless you have some root veggies in it, then it’s more like 6. All the slower cooking veggies should be on the bottom.
- Beans – if they aren’t cooked before hand, give it 8 hours.
- 2 sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 cups of black beans
- 2 cups of Northern beans
- a jar or can of tomato paste
- a jar of crushed tomatoes or about 3 diced fresh tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic gloves
- 2-3 jalapeno chilis
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 square of semi-sweet baking chocolate
- a shake of cinnamon