Caption: Think you can’t have great soup made from a slow cooker? Well guess again as we take you through all the steps of making soups like this one you see above.
Wouldn’t it be great to arrive home with a fresh, hot meal that’s not only tasty but healthy and well-crafted? Nope, we’re not talking about hiring a personal chef (though that would be amazing!), but actually using a slow cooker!
Remember those things? It’s what your mom or grandmother used every once in awhile to prepare roast beef or a side of vegetables, but thankfully the internet has found some many other uses for this surprisingly useful device!
All sorts of new features have been added to them to make cooking with one even easier, and it’s easier than ever to use them to cook a healthy soup you can eat the rest of the week (if you want to make that much).
So join us as we go over the best practices for making soup with a slow cooker, the type of slow cooker we recommend, as well as recipe ideas you can go home and try today!
What To Look For When Buying A Slow Cooker
Caption: Keep reading as we’re about to tell you what features you should look for in your slow cooker if you don’t have one already.
As slow cookers have gotten more popular, they have also grown to accommodate a wider range of buyers. This means they will have different ways of distributing heat, will be made of different materials, and even different shapes!
This can make the buying process difficult if you haven’t used one before, and later on you could end up with a model that’s not best suited for cooking the soups we’ll cover later on.
So here is what we recommend……
First, you should decide which slow cooker to buy in order to provide food for just yourself or for others. The normal size is 6 quarts, but there are smaller models out there for those who will be cooking just for themselves.
Next, what additional features would you possibly like to have? There are models now with not only a digital timer, but a function to go to a lower temperature to keep your soups warm until you arrive home. Some even have a built-in searing function to brown your meats or vegetables before you start the slow cooking process. These features come at a premium, but are definitely worth it for the added convenience!
Finally, you should consider whether it’ll be big enough to handle a whole chicken & other meats, as well as how easy to clean it will be. We recommend that you buy a slow cooker that allows you to clean the insert separately from the heating unit to make it easier on yourself.
How To Cook Soup Using One Of These
Caption: You’re going to want to avoid the common mistakes we mention down below….
Before we reveal some of the recipes below there are some guidelines you should follow in order to enjoy the most flavorful soup possible from a slow cooker……
First off, consider searing your veggies and meats that you may use for your soup BEFORE adding them to the pot. Many suggest this will help increase the flavor of the soup, and we couldn’t agree more!
Also, be sure to cut all your ingredients about the same size so that they will be cooked evenly. No one likes eating undercooked meat or veggies!
Speaking of meats and veggies, if any of them need more time to become tender then we suggest placing them at the bottom of the bowl!
Next you should consider how much liquid to use. We all want to avoid watered down soups, but we also don’t want our soup to get too dry either. A general rule of thumb is to add enough liquid to where it will fill up halfway. If you do end up using too much liquid, you can lift the top near the end to let some of it evaporate.
Finally, you should decide which ingredients you want to start cooking from the beginning, as well as what you can add to the pot near the end of the process. Some ingredients like softer vegetables, rice and noodles, and pre-cooked meats shouldn’t be cooked for so long. Your spices should definitely be put in at the beginning though!
Common Soup Recipes You Can Make With A Crockpot (Healthy Options Included!)
Caption: Now that you know about the best way to cook soup using a slow cooker, you’ve got to try the recipes we recommend below.
The great thing about a slow cooker is that, as long as you follow the directions above and think about the best way to adapt some soup recipes, there is very little work to do besides maybe cutting up veggies and meats!
You can use this to make potato soup, a hearty tomato or chicken soup, or a wide variety of healthy recipes using beans, kale, and quinoa amongst several others.
However, we want EASY recipes! Something that we can take just a few minutes to set up and throw into the slow cooker, and this are some of the best recipes we found if those are your needs:
- This 7 ingredient black bean soup is perfect if you’re on a low carb diet, but want something to help you feel full! It’s also great if you’re looking to steer clear of meat.
- For another ridiculously easy, yet healthy meal, we’ve got this turkey, black bean, & sweet potato chili recipe.
- If you’re a fan of lentils, then this recipe calling for that plus carrots, zucchini, celery, and tomatoes is going to provide an easy way to get them into your diet.
- Finally if you’re looking for a great creamy potato soup or chicken & dumplings recipe for your slow cooker, then we think you should check out the recipes available at Betty Crocker’s website.
We could go on and on with slow cooker soup ideas as the internet is full of them, but that should be enough to get you started!
Do you have any tips for using slow cookers to make soups? Do you have a favorite recipe for making such a soup? Then please tell us about it in the comments!