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Monday, September 8, 2008

Crockpot Soups

Although it isn't that cool out yet here, I am starting to put soup back on the menu. I like that a homemade soup or chili can be done in the crockpot on days I work. This week we're having chili on Tuesday and minestroni on Thursday, that leaves room for using the leftovers as lunches. The neat thing about this is I can then just have a salad of some sort--lettuce or pasta salad and some sandwhich supplies on hand and with all adults on different schedules in the house there will be something to grab and eat for everyone even on the 3 evenings I'll be away at work.

I noticed that there are some great coupons for canned soup this week and sales to match at several grocery stores. Well---I'm pondering. I may be picking up 'some' soups at these good prices, but only so its on hand for emergencies. Homemade soups are far better. I do like some canned in the pantry though because its handy when cold season comes along or if I am away unexpectedly. I never buy it unless I have coupons and sales matched up.

I learned to make soup as a teen working in a family style restaurant. We would have a soup of the day there. Whatever was leftover after the special was kept in the cooler and available for customers for the next several days. Soup will keep at least 3 days in the fridge. Soup is handy to take to work for a lunch and to have with a sandwhich or a salad for dinner. Some soups freeze ok too. The homemade soups we used to serve at "Mary's Restaurant" (now out of business) were fantastic and kept customers coming back for many years. They were also quite simple to make really and often contained frozen or canned ingredients--nobody even knew.

My minestroni soup is easy to make. This is my own recipe & is almost never exactly the same as I use what is on hand.

For the liquid I use about 8 cups--partly this is 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (like Ragu)--from 20 to 30 oz. The rest of the liquid can be water or soup stock/broth.
add to it:
1 large onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or use dry granulated garlic according directins on bottle)
2 cups of thin sliced/shredded cabbage
1 cup diced summer squash (such as zuchini)
1 cup frozen green beans or peas
1 cup thin sliced carrots
1 can of kidneybeans or garbanzos or whatever bean you like--drained/rinsed

Salt/Pepper to taste

Put it all in a crockpot and let it cook on low for 6-10 hours (depending on your pots instructions)

About 20 minutes before time to serve add 2/3 cup of small pasta--any kind you like, even stuffed pastas!

Sprinkle in some parsely or parmesan if you like too. :) Good eats!

We're considering taking a trip next weekend down to florida so I have planned meals through Friday and take alongs for the car. Time to get the groceries!

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