(everything but the kitchen sink) Vegetable Soup

It’s starting to get cold in Boston, so today was the day to break out the slow cooker.  I found a vegetable soup recipe but I decided to use all the dib dabs in my cabinet.

The great thing about slow cookers is that they’re easy.  The great thing about vegetable soup is that you can put almost anything in it. Put them together and you have lazy winter weekend cooking.

Necessary Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 box vegetable broth (I use low sodium)
  • 1 box quinoa
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt/pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients:

  • Green beans
  • Bell peppers
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • potatoes

Preparation:

  1. Start by dicing all your vegetables. 1/4 inch is a good estimate.
  2. Mince or press garlic. Add to medium size skillet with diced onion and olive oil. Cook over medium low heat until fragrant (2 min ish).

  1. Add carrots and celery. Stir and cook all for about 10 minutes, or until onions have begun to soften and become translucent.
  2. Pull out your trusty slow cooker.  If you don’t have one, you can also use a large pot and simmer on the stove. I like equipment.
  3. Add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and herbs to pot.  If using dried beans, add them now. I presoaked my beans in hot water for about an hour, but figured that simmering them in the slow cooker would take care of the rest.
  4. Add carrot/celery/onion mixture to pot.  Turn on and leave for two hours, or until beans and carrots are both soft.
  5. Add potatoes if using.
  6. Cook your quinoa according to the directions on the box.  Add the rinsed quinoa to boiling water, turn stove to simmer and leave for 10 minutes.
  7. Once potatoes are nearly soft, add your fast cooking vegetables, like green beans and peppers.
  8. Add quinoa, leave soup to simmer until all vegetable are tender.

I like to add some kale or spinach to my soup just before serving – it makes the greens soften without overcooking them, and helps cool down hot soup!

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