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Old 04-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Crock Pot Vegetable Soup?

I'm culinarily challenged and want to try to make a good DD veggie soup in my crock pot. Would I just throw all the veggies and seasonings in there with some water, or would I need to add broth? Dumb question, I know!

Any sure fire tricks or tips? TIA!
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #2
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Hi dawn

When I make veggie soup I use beef broth as a base, you could use chicken broth or I have actually seen veggie broth too!

I usually toss in zucchini, sometimes summer squash, onions, celery and I will add a can of petite diced tomatoes as well, you are really only limited by your imagination!

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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I use low salt beef base or low salt chicken base in all my soups, also at times I will use a bit of V-8. Thin it all out with water, I do not add any other dry seasoning. Add the veggies of your choice - like onion, celery and part of a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.

If calories allow I would add some chicken legs!

Good Luck Cooking!
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:35 PM   #4
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I made some the other day with tomato juice as my base. Just dumped the large can in, dumped some veggies (frozen and canned) and cooked on high all day. Yummy! I usually make this with ground beef as well, but since it was for DDs, I left that part out.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:57 PM   #5
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You don't have to use broth if you don't have any on hand. Use all your favorite spices and herbs.

I start out chopping celery, throw in a bag of baby carrots, chopped zucchini, as much chopped or shredded cabbage as I can stuff in, mushrooms, tomatoes (fresh or canned), green beans (frozen ones are great, just dump them in frozen) I add fresh baby spinach towards the end. Or, frozen spinach about half way through when the cabbage cooks down and leaves more room.

Anyway, after you get all the veggies crammed in, cover or almost cover the veggies in liquid. Water, low sodium - fat free chicken broth, V-8 juice (I use low sodium) or any veggie broth. Or mix any or all of those together. Then I liberally sprinkle in herbs and spices. Lots of Oregano (I'm talking at least 1/4 cup), basil, a little paprika, Minced onions, garlic (I don't use real onions. I love them, but DH is allergic to fresh onions. Minced dried ones don't bother him. ) If you have any dry Lipton soup mix and don't mind the salt, you can toss in a packet. Or half a packet is good. I also add Herbs De Provance. coarse ground pepper and anything else that strikes my fancy!! Some people like chilly powder, but again, my Dh can't tolerate anything too spicy.

Here is a tip: after the soup has cooked for 8 hours in the crock pot (or you can simmer it on the stove and it only takes about half an hour 'cos you bring it to a boil, then put the lid on and turn it down and let it simmer on low) -- anyway, when it's done, taste it and see if it needs anything like a little salt or more garlic and add that.

Then, scoop out a cup or two and put it in the blender or your food processor. Puree it until smoothe. You can either add it back to the crockpot or spoon it into bowls and then add the chunky part. Sprinkle on some parsley just before serving. Or, sprinkle a bit of Parmesian cheese on it.

I love soup! I love my crock pot! Btw: It freezes really well. I put a gallon sized zip lock freezer bag in one of my straight up plastic pitchers and fold the top open to keep it open.. Then I use a big measuring cup with a spout to scoop it in.

Squeeze all the air out, zip it and lay it flat. When it's room temperature, put it in the freezer (if you need to, lay it on a small cookie sheet or plate) it will freeze nice and flat.

That was more than you needed to know! huh?
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #6
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I always have one more thing!!

You can add cooked ground turkey or any leftover meat you have to make it heartier. Even more hearty if it's an UD?? Throw in some brown basmatti rice or some whole wheat penne pasta or spaghetti noodles broken up or whole wheat egg noodles.

You can add several tablespoons of oat bran if you need more fiber and like your soup a little thicker.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Don't forget the green peppers and eggplant!! YUM!! and very filling. I make mine closer to a stew, and put a minimal amount of both chicken and beef bouillon.
3 zuchinni
1 LARGE eggplant
1 med. onion
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 green peppers
2-3 garlic cloves
2 small cans contadina tomato sauce
1 cup water???
small amount of italian seasoning
and a "pinch" of red pepper

Love this! More like a stew, and about 70 calories per filling cup!
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:07 PM   #8
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Yes! Yes! Green peppers!
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:14 PM   #9
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Mmmm.... I want to make some too!
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:44 AM   #10
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All great ideas, thanks!

Truffles, do you have to do anything to the eggplant? I keep reading that it needs to be salted and left on paper towels or something or else it's bitter.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:04 AM   #11
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My tip: your taste may vary, but I do not like onions or peppers added raw to any soup or crock pot dish. I always sautee them separately, and if possible add towards the end (last hour or so).
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:13 AM   #12
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Dawn, I have never found eggplant to be particularly bitter, so I just peel it before cooking.

If you ever get a chance to try Sicilian eggplant, it is surprisingly sweet & tasty!

The salting & draining is more to get out extra liquid if frying or using for something like eggplant parmigiana.

I'm not a fan of undercooked eggplant, so I give it a head start when cooking with more delicate veggies like zucchini & peppers (which I don't like to overcook, lol).

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Old 04-24-2012, 05:26 AM   #13
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Get young eggplants with very firm, shiny skin and you don't have to worry about salting them. I don't buy older, wrinkled eggplants...I provide all the wrinkles this household needs!

Like Yam-Yam, I puree part of the soup then add it back. It changes the flavor distribution and adds body to the soup.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:38 AM   #14
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I really don't mean to offend, but the amount of oregano in Yam Yam's recipe (especially not knowing the size of pot she's using) might not be to everone's taste.

Personally, I find oregano (also thyme, sage, and to a lesser extent, rosemary) can be a bit overpowering and bitter--and the flavor gets stronger the longer they cook.

I cooked for 30-80 people every day for years, and while I was very liberal with spices & seasonings, I was always careful of anything bitter. I converted a lot of people who swore they hated curries and other "exotic" foods!

I probably don't use more than 1/2 to 1 tsp of oregano per gallon of sauce or soup; I use about twice as much rosemary and 4-6 times as much sweet basil.

Of course, your taste may vary!
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:15 AM   #15
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PJ: Probably a good idea if you're not used to using it, start out small, like anything. I do have a HUGE crock pot and my soup pots are really big as well. When I use a lot of tomatoes in my soup I just think the flavor of the oregano is so awesome with the tomatoes and they absorb it.

And oregano is so nutritious, even dried. Did you know it's one of the herbs that acts as a natural diuretic? It helps to regulate fluid in our bodies so we don't have unhealthy water retention.

I inherited great cooking skills from my mother and older sisters. So, it all comes second nature to me and I often make things up as I go along. Or, if I have not been to the store for a while, I can come up with a delicious meal from stuff I find in my cupboards, fridge and freezer.

Most people just need to experiment and start small.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:34 AM   #16
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I'm a throw-stuff-together-&-never-measure cook, too!

But since OP said she's "culinarily challenged" and others sometimes prefer precise instructions to "oh, a couple handfuls, I guess", I just thought a warning might be helpful. My crockpot only holds about 3.5-4 quarts...a 1/4c of oregano would be disastrous!

I didn't know that oregano is a diuretic. I love how even the most common & humble herbs have such healing qualities...parsley, mint, turmeric, ginger, etc, etc!
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:39 AM   #17
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I usually heat up the crock pot, put in some oil (tbl olive oil) then add the onion and garlic and cook those until soft and fragrant. I add salt and pepper here to begin. Then I add whatever meat I'm going to use and let it cook. I'll add some ground garlic, onion powder, paprika... Then I'll add whatever other veggies I'm using. Then, after they get a little cooked (10-15 mins), I'll add the chk or beef broth with some sage and a bay leaf. Then I leave it alone for awhile to let it come to a boil. Then I'll turn it on low and let is sit for awhile. Throw in whatever veggies you like in bite size pieces. Carrots sweeten things up a bit. I like cabbage, spinach, or kale in soups. I also like to add some beans. I'll add salt towards the end if it needs it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:40 AM   #18
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Here is a good, basic soup recipe all spelled out:

6 large green onions (also called “spring” onions)
2 green peppers
1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
3 carrots
1 container (10 oz. or so) mushrooms
1 bunch of celery
half a head of cabbage
1 package spice only soup mix (In the US, Liptons is a good choice)
1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional)
1 48oz can Low Sodium V8 juice (optional)
Season to taste with pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc. (Little to NO SALT!)

Directions:

Slice green onions, put in a pot on medium heat and start to sauté with cooking spray. Do this until the onions are whiter/clearer in color (about 4-6 minutes).

Cut green pepper stem end off, then cut pepper in half to take out the seeds and membrane. Cut the green pepper into bite size pieces and add to pot.

Take the outer leafs layers off the cabbage, cut into bite size pieces, add to pot.

Clean carrots, mushrooms, and celery, cut into bite size pieces and toss them in. Add tomatoes now, too.

If you would like a spicy soup, add a small amount of curry or cayenne pepper now.

For seasonings, you can use a spice soup packet of your choice (no noodles!) or use beef or chicken bouillon cubes. These cubes are optional, and you can add spices you like instead (make sure not to add much salt, if any at all).

Use about 12 cups of water (or 8 cups and the 48 oz of Low Sodium V8 juice), cover and put heat on low. Let soup simmer for a long time – about 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:58 AM   #19
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I make a good stew in the crock pot just throwing things together, so I'm thinking a soup should be even easier. I like the idea of using V8 and would never have thought of that on my own. Or canned tomatoes.

Thank you for all the ideas! I can't wait to experiment, probably this weekend.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:08 AM   #20
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I was inspired by your thread, Dawn, to make homemade veg. soup on my DD. It's been way too long since I've done that.

I rarely measure or think about what I'm doing when making something like this, I just throw it in, taste, think "what else can I add?" and keep going, lol

I just start out sauteeing a handful of onion in 1 T. evoo, medium-low, then add about half teasp. minced garlic from the jar and a dab of ginger paste from a tube. I added in 2 c. low-sodium V8, 2 c. chicken broth, dumped in the veggies.... I had about 3 c. of pulp leftover from my juicing this morning, and I added frozen spinach, 1/2 cut-up beet, 1 small cut-up potato, some corn kernals, gosh, a bunch of stuff! Oh, and probably 6 c. of water or so (I didn't measure). Just however thick or thin you want your soup.

For seasonings I threw in Italian, oregano, basil, dash of thyme, dried parsley, lots of pepper, lots of sea salt, spoon of herbes de provence, etc. I can see you liking some hot sauce in this.

You don't have to put in potatoes or corn since they will elevate the calories/carbs some, but it is distributed through the whole pot and I grew up with potatoes in it so I love it. I also wanted cut-up green beans in it, but didn't have any.

Some people add a little beans to their soup, like kidney or lima or whatever you like. Some add a small amount of cooked ground beef crumbles, or turkey, chicken, pork, etc.

I let it come to a boil then turned it down to simmer for 15 minutes and when the potato and beet were fork-tender, I considered it done. I stirred in 1 T. vco to help with the vitamin absorption (read this was a good thing to do).

Really, it's one of those things you can't do wrong if you just throw it all together and get the saltiness how you like it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #21
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I took advice from one of the cooks at the restaurant I work at and diced the eggplant then soaked it in water with a little bit of lemon juice with some salt, he says atleast an hour, and it can be left overnight, I then drained it and dried it a little with some paper towel.

I sauteed ALL of my veggies with Olive Oil Spray before I put them in the pot. To me this adds LOTS of flavor, I hardly add any seasoning to my veg. stew when I do this. I saute them on a high heat and brown them a little, but not cook thoroughly. The trick is to have the pan HOT and don't overcrowd the pan and saute in batches.

Good Luck!

I have made this veg. stew 3 times now, the last time I went to my mom's and made it with her she loved it so much!! My BF likes it too- but then asks "where is the meat?" I want to try adding mushrooms, and may saute and add some to a bowl of stew I have now to see how I like the taste. I LOVE mushrooms!! But didn't want to change the recipe it is SO GOOD!!!
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:13 PM   #22
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OK just reading this thread had me craving veggie soup so I have one cooking up now in my crockpot, started with crushed tomato and Mexican chicken broth. I put in green beans, eggplant, zucchini, collard greens, and green and red peppers. I am thinking that I might throw in some shiratki noodles tomorrow -can not wait to taste it -it look wonderful-thanks for helping me figure out what I will be eating on my down day tomorrow
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