Does using a Crock Pot just come naturally to some Moms and not others? If so, I think I’m part of the “others.” Well, let me be clear; I have three Crock Pots. Occasionally, I cook a whole chicken in one of them and shred it for later use. Or I use them to hold dinner warm when our schedules are crazy and I know we’ll be coming and going at separate times. And naturally, I look up and print tons of great Crock Pot recipes, but they never actually get used. It’s not that I don’t want to be a Mom with all her ducks in a row and come home to a perfect Crock Pot meal; it’s just that apparently that is not the Mom I really am. But you know what? It’s ok. I like me. I might not be a seasoned Crock Pot Mom, but I can throw together some great soups when I need to.
Here are a few of my personal favorite, quick Stove Top soups:
White Chicken Chili
1 Lg. rotisserie chicken
4-6 cans chicken broth
4 cans Great Northern beans
1-2 peppers (red, orange, yellow)
½ red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced (I use the pre-chopped in a jar)
½-1 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice (or squeeze 2-3 wedges)
1+ Tbsp cumin
1+ Tbsp paprika
1+ Tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper
-Chop your onion, peppers and garlic. I have a “slap chopper” in my kitchen that makes this part SO fast, otherwise this is a good task for older kids to help with.
-Use a Stock Pot with about a Teaspoon of olive oil in the bottom and sauté the onion, pepper and garlic for a few minutes until it starts to soften a bit.
-While they cook, shred the chicken into desired size pieces. Go smaller if you have younger kids.
-Once the sautéed food is ready, add the chicken broth, Great Northern beans, and chicken to the pot. Here’s where the amount of chicken broth can vary. I like my chili kind of thick, so I tend to go a little lighter on it and just cover the Great Northern beans and chicken with it.
-Next, add the lime juice and spices to suit your family’s tastes. We love lots of flavor in our food, others prefer it with a little less punch. Stir it all together and give it about 10 minutes to mix flavors, taste it and adjust the flavor to your liking. (Here’s where I tend to add the salt and pepper and some more cumin etc.).
-Lastly, add the cilantro. Again, we are big on cilantro, so I add a lot.
-Give it another 10 minutes to simmer while you rinse off your cutting board and knife (and maybe your Slap Chopper) and then dinner is ready!
We like to garnish ours with some shredded cheese and sour cream, and my husband makes his spicy with some added cayenne pepper.
6+ cups V8 juice
2 cans cut green beans
2 cans sliced potatoes
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can sliced carrots
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 cup frozen yellow corn
1-2 Tsp garlic powder
1-2 Tsp onion powder
2-4 Tbsp beef bouillon
Salt and pepper
This one is a family favorite! The key to making really great Veggie Soup, is using a tomato base like V8 (or even water and a can of tomato paste.)
-Get out your big Stock Pot, because this one makes leftovers!
-Add the V8
-Start with the potatoes, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans, and drain them into the sink and then add to the pot.
-Add the peas and corn.
-Add the green beans (and if you feel like you need more broth, just dump the whole can in, water and all.)
-Repeat this process with the carrots
-Add your spices and bouillon and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
-Add spices, salt and pepper to taste, allowing it to simmer between tests.
-Let it all simmer together for as long as you have. If you’re ready to eat, serve it up! If you have an hour, let it simmer for that long. You really can’t mess this soup up.
We like to garnish with saltines and usually a little more pepper to taste. This soup is excellent the second and third days because all the veggies just enhance the flavor in each other. I think I make this soup a little differently each time. Sometimes it has a little more of one vegetable or another, based upon what’s in my pantry. My Mom always used to add lima beans (which I did and still do HATE) but if you like them, go for it!
Hot & Sour Soup
7 cups chicken broth
2 Lg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup white vinegar
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tsp sesame oil
2 Tsp sugar
2 Tbsp ginger (I use the squeeze tube)
1 Tsp ground pepper
1 can bean sprouts
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1 can baby corn, cut
-In a large Stock Pot, add chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and ginger and bring to a boil.
-Cut the chicken into small cubes and add to the Pot. Boil for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
-Chop the bean sprouts and baby corn into bite-size pieces and add them and the water chestnuts to the pot.
-Add the pepper and maintain a rolling boil.
-Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk together. As you are stirring the soup, slowly pour the egg into the soup. It should cook immediately and rise to the top in strands.
-Turn the soup off and let it “rest” for about 10 minutes.
This soup has completely ruined me for most takeout restaurant soups. It is so full of flavor, that all the others pale in comparison. Many times I omit the chicken and we eat this as a vegetarian soup as well. It warms up really well too, so save those leftovers. Sometimes I like to pair this with some homemade spring rolls, but usually we eat it as a meal itself.