November 25, 2007

Soup in the slow cooker

I love to cook and I love to eat but I'm too busy to spend a lot of time preparing food. I need food that looks and tastes great but is EASY to prepare. I appreciate complicated and strongly flavored foods but mostly I prefer simple foods with clean tastes.
This bowl of soup was done in a slow cooker. I was on my own for ten days and didn't want to come home to an empty kitchen so I forced myself to drag out the slow cooker and, in an unusual bit of pre-planning, soaked a half cup of dried black beans. Before I left for work the next morning I quickly cut up a bunch of veggies (cauliflower, potatoes, mushrooms, celery, onion, carrots (from a bag of washed and peeled), green beans, parsnip and put them, with a can of crushed tomatoes and the soaked and drained beans, into the cooker. Added water (about three inches above the veggies), flicked the switch to high and left. The best part was that when I got home eight hours later the house smelled wonderful - like someone had been cooking all day! I seasoned the soup with a generous amount of freshly ground peppercorns, threw in some frozen corn and leftover rice and it tasted soooo good.