I’ve never made soup before. I always thought that with soup, you need to stand by the stove continually stirring the pot for hours on end, sacrificing your entire afternoon for a bowl of liquid. I’ve shied away from it, preferring the fast and easy convenience of canned soups.
Until I discovered a crock-pot hidden amongst all the STUFF in my new house. I’ve never used a crock-pot (slow cooker) before either, but I know that it lets you dump the stuff in, and leave it unattended four hours. And since I also had such lovely and fresh produce from the Santa Barbara farmer’s market, I decided to make my first batch of soup ever! And boy let me tell you, I’m glad I did!
Julia’s Farmer’s Market Soup: (serves… I have no idea… a week’s worth of soup!)
1 1/2 carrots, finely diced
1 sweet red bell pepper. diced
1 small sweet red pepper, diced (I have no idea what they are called… I guess you could just add a yellow bell pepper if you don’t have it)
1/2 large onion, finely minced
1 1/2 tbsp crushed garlic
1/3 can black beans
1/4 cup canned corn
2 Aidells sausage links (sooooo yummy)
1 package (probably about 0.75lbs) stewing beef cubes
1 can stewed Italian style tomatoes
3/4 can Swanson chicken broth
5 tablespoons tomato sauce
salt and pepper a palm-full of dried basil
a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a splash of red wine
1. Finely dice the carrots and peppers (If you like big chunks of veggies, don’t cut them up so small)
2. Mince the onion
3. Slice the sausages into bite sized pieces, and cube the beef pieces.
4. Put the chopped up carrots, peppers, beans, corn, tomato sauce, canned tomato, chicken broth, salt and pepper, dried basil, and crushed garlic into the crock pot, and give it a big stir so that everything gets mixed up.
5. In a saucepan, drizzle a little olive oil, and saute the onions until it JUST starts to turn a little clear, about 2 minutes. Put into crock pot.
6. Saute the sausage and beef pieces until there is a sear on them, about 1-2 minutes. Put into crock pot.
7. Put the crock pot on high, and let cook for about 7 hours, or until carrots are tender.
This soup turned out fantastic! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make, and how delicious it was! It tasted like minestrone, but MUCH MUCH better than the canned stuff I usually buy! The soup made the beef very tender, and the spices from the sausages blended very well into the soup. Another perk was that it made the entire house smell soooooo comforting and yummy. I kept putting my nose right up to the crock pot to breathe in all its tomato-y goodness. Mmmmm… 🙂
Here is what the soup looked like all finished:
and up close..
Now that it’s getting chilly, a bowl of soup is such a comforting meal. AND, you get SEVEN veggies in one bowl! Eating that many veggies in a salad would get soooo old, and it wouldn’t go half as well with wine. So warm up, and enjoy.