As the weather starts to cool down, one of my favorite things to come home to is a pot of simmering soup. Plus soup is a great meal that I can easily scale up or down, depending on how much or how little I want to have leftover.
Now, many people know they can use their slow cookers for soups, but if you are new to slow cooking, you might be wondering how to adapt your favorite recipes for the slow cooker.
I have a few tips for you that will help you put your slow cooker through its paces in soup making.
5 tips for making slow cooker soup
1. Brown the meat. One of the most overlooked steps in creating sensational slow cooker soups is browning your ingredients. Yes, the slow cooker will cook your soup just fine without you taking this step, but if you do take the time to sear your meat before putting it in the slow cooker, you’ll be happy with the rich, intensely flavored results.
2. Cut ingredients uniformly. Take care to cut your vegetables in similar sizes so that they cook evenly. You don’t want half of your vegetables turning to mush while some bites are still hard!
3. Layer properly. Place the ingredients that take longest to cook in the slow cooker first. (Hint: Root vegetables take longer to cook than meat so they should be placed on the bottom where they’ll have more direct contact with the heating element of the slow cooker.) Meats, spices and onions can also be placed on the bottom. Veggies like cauliflower and broccoli can go in next. Finally, place your liquid on top of all the veggies before covering the slow cooker and turning it on.
4. Watch your liquids. You won’t need as much liquid as your traditional soup recipe would call for, but just add enough to cover the veggies by about half an inch. (If you have too much liquid at the end of your cooking time, simply remove the lid of your crockpot 30 minutes before you plan to serve dinner and it will evaporate.)
5. Add ingredients in stages. Some ingredients don’t take much time to cook so you’ll want to add them in during the last hour of cook time. Things like pasta, dairy, peas, bell peppers and spinach would fall into this category.
And speaking of Crock Cooker soups, we have a delicious Soups and Stews ebook available – check it out HERE!
Great tips!! Thank you!
thanks for the info…but my first batch seemed to come out really oily. Is this natural and is this good for you?
Yes it is natural due to the fat content. If you do not like all the oil, let it cool by sitting it in the refrigerator so that the oil will rise to the top and solidify. Then you can remove it easily. Or you can let it cool and skim the fat off.
I am making the bone broth…does anyone know if it has the same healing effect if I delete the onions…I wouldn’t mind giving my dogs some as well and onions are toxic for canines…any comments appreciated!
i see no problem with omitting onions — or any of the veggies often added towards the end. The main thing is to add a bit of ACV to help draw the goodness from the bones, and to remember to reuse these expensive suckers a few times.Add water to the bones again and make a second batch of broth. (Keep doing this until you are tired of it or your bones have disintegrated.)
Beef bones are good for up to 12 batches. Chicken bones for 3. Roast the chicken first.
Although “Beef feet” & leg bones have a LOT of iron, I have heard that oxtail and gelatinous bones are better.
Cook the chicken kale soup two nights ago…it’s a keeper. Added it to our family favorites.