Crock Pot Tomato Soup

Ingredients:
2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 bag shredded carrots
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup whole milk

Directions:
Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5 hours. I have put this completely frozen in my crockpot on high for 8 hours and came home to a delicious meal. Also, the original recipe says to use an immersion blender after the soup is cooked but I have eaten it without blending and it is still delicious (if you like your tomato soup chunky! šŸ™‚ Or if you are just lazy like me). I’ve also added fresh basil just before serving. You could also add the milk towards the end of cooking for a creamier texture.

This is an easy and delicious recipe I found via Pinterest when looking for crockpot meals that I could make ahead and freeze. This recipe is easy enough that you can throw it together the day of without too much trouble if you don’t want to make ahead. The website is called Once a Month meals and has lots of great recipes! Check it out!

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Taco Soup

Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) cans chili beans
1 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) packages taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hours. From Allrecipes.com

Egg Drop Soup

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken broth, divided
1/8 t ground ginger
2 T chopped fresh chives
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 T cornstarch
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

Directions:
Reserve 3/4 cup of chicken broth, and pour the rest into a large saucepan. Stir the salt, ginger and chives into the saucepan, and bring to a rolling boil. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining broth and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk together using a fork. Drizzle egg a little at a time from the fork into the boiling broth mixture. Egg should cook immediately. Once the eggs have been dropped, stir in the cornstarch mixture gradually until the soup is the desired consistency.

My mom used to make this for us growing up, along with homemade won-tons. One of my favorite meals! This recipe is from <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/restaurant-style-egg-drop-soup/”>Allrecipes.com

Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise

Directions:
Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from Alton Brown. I don’t use the grains of paradise because I don’t usually have it and I’m lazy. But I love lentil soup on a cold day and this one has a lot of flavor, even minus a spice or two. This is another soup that goes great with homemade bread. Could also be made in the crock pot, although I’ve never tried it.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Ingredients:

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 quart chicken stock or water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

This is a favorite fall or winter soup – so hearty and yet fresh. Again, from our friend Ina Garten. Also great for the end of tomato season, or using up tomatoes from your flourishing garden tomato plants! Tomato soup always reminds me of grilled cheese and tomato soup day at college, but this is a much healthier version than what the dining hall served. Also note that it only calls for 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes. I accidentally made this one time with 2 T crushed red pepper. Needless to say, we needed a lot of bread to get it down. Try this soup with a bread bowl.

16 Bean Soup

Ingredients:

1 package dry beans (15 or 16 bean), rinsed and soaked overnight
1 package cooked sausage of choice (we like chicken & garlic) — this can be left out for a vegetarian option
16 oz chicken or vegetable stock
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 – 3 potatoes, diced (white or sweet potato)
1 large can diced tomatoes or 3 – 4 fresh diced tomatoes with juice
2 bay leaves
1 t cumin
1 T oregano
1 T cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in crock pot, and cook on high for 8-10 hours or until beans, carrots, potatoes are soft.

This one was of the first crock pot recipes I made and it has been a staple ever since.

Thai Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:
6 cups good-tasting chicken stock
1/3 to 1/2 can thick coconut milk
4 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass OR bottled/frozen-prepared
3 kaffir lime leaves, left whole, OR substitute 1 tsp. lime zest
3 cups pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
2 cups yam or sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 cups soft tofu, sliced into cubes OR substitute chickpeas or cooked shrimp
1 shallot, minced, OR 1/4 cup minced purple onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, grated or sliced thinly into matchsticks
1 fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili, OR 1-2 tsp. chili sauce
1/2 tsp. turmeric
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
2-3 Tbsp. fish sauce, to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp. shrimp paste, OR 1 extra Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 generous handful baby spinach, washed
1/2 cup fresh basil + 1/2 cup fresh coriander for toppings

Directions:
Place stock in a pot over high heat. Add the prepared lemongrass (plus leftover stalk if using fresh lemongrass), the kaffir lime leaves, shallot, garlic, galangal or ginger, and chili. Bring to a boil.
Add the pumpkin (or squash) and yam. Reduce heat slightly and gently boil for 6-7 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, add the spices/flavorings, stirring with each addition: turmeric, ground coriander and cumin, fish sauce, shrimp paste, brown sugar, and lime juice. Tip: Don’t be tempted to omit the fish sauce and shrimp paste – they smell bad, but make for wonderfully-flavored soup!
When pumpkin and yam are soft enough to eat, reduce heat to low. Now stir in the coconut milk (start with 1/3 can and increase to 1/2 can depending on how creamy you want it).
Stir well and taste-test the soup for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough (this will depend on the ‘saltiness’ of your stock). Add more lime juice if it’s too salty or sweet. If it’s too sour for your liking, add a little more sugar; also adjust the spice level by adding more chili. If too spicy, add more coconut milk.
Just before serving, add the soft tofu and spinach and gently stir it into the soup (the spinach will wilt instantly). Portion out into bowls and top with the fresh basil and coriander. Note that this soup is usually served with rice on the side, but it could also be served with noodles. Enjoy!

Brian discovered this recipe while we were living in North Carolina. There were some excellent Asian food markets close by, and this dish has continued to be one of our favorites. The coconut milk makes it absolutely to die for. There is also a great vegetarian version on About.com