Ah wintertime, the days are shorter and the temperature drops outside. After long days in and out of the snow, ice and frigid air, most people can agree that sitting down to a nice steaming bowl of soup is almost heavenly. One of the easiest and stress free ways of guaranteeing yourself a hot bowl of goodness is by using a slow cooker. All you have to do is put all of the ingredients into the cooker, turn it on and walk away. So, you have the slow cooker, but are unsure what kind of soup will help chase away the winter chill. Look no further friends, help is here with some delicious suggestions:
*Chili. The basic ingredients are: ground meat (beef, turkey, pork, or even shredded chicken), tomato sauce, beans (typically pinto, kidney or black), chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and of course some water. There are many things you can add to spice it up like onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic and some sort of thickener like cornmeal. Great served with shredded cheese, crackers and chopped onions on top. Yummy!
*Stew. Some people consider stew a winter meal staple because it is thick and very filling. Basic ingredients include: beef, chicken or pork cut into chunks, potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, beef bouillon (or chicken), other vegetables of your choice, a thickener like corn starch and of course water. There really is no wrong way to season a stew, it depends on your personal palette. Wonderful served with crackers or some fluffy cornbread.
*Split pea. This is a very thick and scrumptious soup. Before you turn up your nose, give it try, you might be pleasantly surprised. The basic ingredients are: split peas, carrots, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, chopped ham pieces and water. This fabulous soup is great served with crackers, biscuits or bread and butter (on the side of course!).
*Vegetable. The best part about making this soup is that you can add almost any type of vegetable that strikes your fancy! You can make it with or without meat and a nice assortment of seasonings like basil, oregano, beef bouillon, onion, and salt and pepper. This really is the the soup for people that love their veggies. Vegetable soup is a star by itself or great served with crackers, bread or cornbread.
*Beef noodle. So very versatile, beef noodle soup is a good soup to throw in a thermos and take with you. Basic ingredients are: beef (ground or chopped steak), pepper, beef bouillon, salt, water and noodles (extra wide egg noodles for example). Possible additional ingredients include carrots or sour cream. Great served alone or with crackers. One more tip here: add extra pepper to make the soup a little spicy!
*Chicken noodle. An all time favorite for generations, nothing calms the soul like a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup. It has been said for years that this is what a person needs to help fight everything from the blues to a cold. Basic ingredients include: chopped chicken, noodles, carrots, celery, onion, chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, and water. Possible additions are chili powder (for a spicier soup), and garlic. Be sure to have plenty of crackers on hand for this tasty treat!
One of the greatest things about wintertime is the many different types of soup you can create in your slow cooker. Simply fix it and forget it for a few hours while you are shoveling the sidewalk or tidying up your home. Some people fix their soup before they go to work and come home to a finished meal. Soups are great to throw together for holiday parties and family gatherings throughout the winter.