Even though this isn’t exactly a foodie blog I’ve been posting more recipes than usual. It’s just that it’s so darn cold! (And my kids have been surprisingly well behaved so I don’t have anything to vent about.) All I feel like doing is cooking, baking and eating. Hope you don’t mind.
This is a super-simple soup recipe for those of you who have never made homemade soup. And for those of you who have, I’m probably not going to be telling you anything you don’t already know. I used my slow-cooker but you can easily make this in a large pot on the stove if you don’t have a slow-cooker. Throw this soup together on a snow day when you’d rather have your hands free to build a snowman with your kids. It’s also great to prep this at night and then turn it on before you leave for work the next morning. What could be more satisfying than walking in the door after a long day to the aroma of soup on your kitchen counter?
(Look, I even gave you pictures so you know what to buy. Fool-proof!)
Fast n’ Slow Vegetable-Bean Soup
Approx. 5 cups broth (vegetable or chicken) depending on how much soup you want to make and how big your slow cooker is
28oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (give these a rough chop so pieces are closer to bite-size)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
15oz can cannellini beans (kidney beans work, too)
A note on how to prep your veggies: To chop or to dice. That’s your call. Do you like bigger, chunkier pieces? Then chop. Do you like finer pieces so you get a little of everything in each spoonful? Then dice. Either way it’ll taste good.
A note on broth: While it’s faster to buy ready-made broth it’s cheap and easy to make your own by filling a pot with water and tossing in a few roughly chopped carrots and celery stalks, a chopped onion, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, a couple pinches of salt, some pepper and bringing everything a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about an hour. Strain the broth and there you have a great base to make soup anytime you need it. You can also add leeks or a chopped fennel bulb or even the rind from the leftover parmesan cheese in your fridge to change up the flavor. Check out the Smitten Kitchen post on Parmesan Broth with kale and white beans.
Toss everything into the slow cooker and cook on low 6 hours or high 4 hours. On the stovetop, bring everything to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer for at least an hour or until everything is tender. You can change this soup by what you put into it. I had some leftover roasted potatoes in the fridge so I added those to make the soup a little thicker. You can also add rice or pasta, but cook it seperately on the stove and then add it when the soup has finished cooking so the rice/pasta doesn’t get too soft and mushy.
Pair this with a freshly baked loaf of bread for a meal that will warm you up on a chilly day.