I know there are a lot of people out there who wish they could always have a home cooked meal, but feel they just don’t have the time to cook. Instead, they resort to ordering take-out or running through the drive-thru on their way home from work. I get it. I mean, even I feel this way sometimes. Somedays I love to have a real meal waiting for me when I get home, without having to do any prepping or cooking. Well, whether you fall into this category once a year or every day, I have just the “recipe” for you. All you need is a trusty crockpot (pretty cheap and always a recommended kitchen appliance investment) and about 20 minutes in the morning to set yourself up for a healthy, cheap, and easy dinner.
You see, this “recipe” is not really a recipe at all. It’s more like a fail-proof ratio of the ingredients that will make up a great soup in the crockpot, no matter what you have on hand. This is my number one favorite way to clean out the fridge and pantry, plus make sure dinner is ready to go when I know I have a busy day ahead. It’s simple. Just throw a bunch of ingredients that you already have on hand into the crockpot. Turn it on and go to work. Then, come home, add your greens, and in just about an hour you’re ready to eat.
The best part is that no matter what you choose, this soup is guaranteed to be delicious. And, it will always be unique. Just follow the ratio and guidelines provided below. And, just in case you need some additional inspiration, I’m including some suggestions here for each basic component of the crockpot soup. Just mix and match from the list based on what you have on hand and what you love to eat! (By the way, if you have some other favorite soup ingredients not listed here, leave us a comment below! I’ll make sure it gets added to my list.)
* onion * garlic * bay leaf * cayenne pepper * ground nutmeg
* onion powder * garlic powder * chicken stock * salt/pepper
* ground beef, turkey, pork, chicken
* sausage (hot or mild, any flavor) * chicken breast * rotisserie chicken (shredded)
* peppers * broccoli * squash * carrot * leeks
* rutabaga * celery * parsnips * turnips
* kale * swiss chard * collard greens
* spinach * red kale * escarole
* rice * barley * lentils * beans (any kind will do) * mini raviolis
* pasta (small shape) * potatoes (sweet or white)
I’m thanking my sister for this post. One day she told me the ingredients she had on hand and asked what else she would need to make a soup for dinner. Of course, this got me to thinking about soup basics, and what components you absolutely need to make a great soup, hearty enough to eat for dinner. Personally, anytime I see a recipe that combines beans, sausage, and some type of leafy green into a soup, it’s always (always!) going in the crockpot. These ingredients can just simmer away all day without compromising their texture. And after 6 hours of being in a crockpot, their flavors have infused into the broth. Fail-proof, I promise!
Ok, so now I should never hear or have to utter the excuse that “I don’t know what to make for dinner”, ever again. We broke it down and made it simple, now just follow the guide, pick your favorite ingredients, heat, eat, repeat. Plus, with Old Man Winter looming a good bowl of home made soup will keep you warm and fill you up right. Not to mention the healing powers and the nutritious foods you will be eating. I know! You’re so welcome!