Monday, November 9, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Slow Cooker Soups

By Ken Kudra

There is something so comforting about a nice hot bowl of soup. The soup warms you, making you feel cozy. Many people are intimidated at making homemade soup, but it actually is pretty easy once you have tried it a time or two. It is even easier when you use your slow cooker.

Soups for the Slow Cooker

Just about any kind of soup can be made successfully in a slow cooker. If you like simple soups like chicken noodle beef barley, the slow cooker can do it for you. If you like fancier soups like vichyssoise or French onion soup, your slow cooker can handle that too. Delicate soups like seafood chowder can also be made quickly in your slow cooker. If you prefer ethnic soups like Indian Dal or Mexican tortilla soup, you are good to go.

It does not matter what your favorite soup is... you can probably make it in your slow cooker. Leftovers work, too. If you have a ham bone left, toss it in with some split peas for yummy pea soup, or add some navy beans to make a hearty bean soup.

Cheddar cheese soup and clam chowder will also work in the slow cooker. That is the best thing about soup recipes in the slow cooker... you can make all the soups you like best. Noodles, rice, dumplings... they all can be made with the slow cooker.

Try Something New

Maybe you will want to try a soup you have never tasted before. Trying new dishes is fun! Take a chance and try a new slow cooker soup. Have you ever tried a taco soup? What about cheesy meatball soup or deviled chicken soup? Ever tried a garden cabbage soup? There are many different soups out there just waiting to become your new favorite!

All you need is a little inspiration to create your own slow cooker soups. Why not try making your own recipe? The slow cooker allows for imperfection. A tough piece of meat will be tenderized by the long cooking time. Vegetables and herbs add their flavors, creating a complex broth. Add a little milk or cream towards the end to create a nice creamy soup if you prefer. You are limited only by your imagination.

Traditional soups like chicken noodle, vegetable beef and chicken and dumplings always taste good, too. If you want to try something slightly different, tweak the ingredients. Maybe you would like to try a nice pork stew or turkey and dumplings. Tweaking your favorites can be fun.

You can even press your slow cooker into service after the holidays to make your day after easier. Add leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to the slow cooker to make a delicious turkey soup. Add rice, potatoes, or noodles, whichever you like best. Add in leftover vegetables like peas, squash, carrots, or leftover gravy. You will end up with a new way to enjoy the fruits of your labors from before the big day. Slow cookers are a great way to use up these leftover goodies.

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