Crock Pot Winter Vegetable Soup

Crock Pot Winter Vegetable Soup is the comfort of home served in a cup.

Crock Pot Winter Vegetable Soup is the comfort of home served in a cup.

You’ll often hear me say that food isn’t just about sustenance, but also satisfaction. Entertainment. Emotion. Nutritionists focus on the content of food.  Dietician focus on the balance of food.  But when I sit down to eat– or more importantly– serve a meal to family and friends, it’s about the experience and the memories we create around the table. Your food will be through your system in less than 24 hours, but the feeling you had when eating it will last a lifetime.

That’s how I feel about this soup. It’s based on a recipe my mom used to make when I was a kid. We ate dinner as a family, almost every night. It’s just what we did. And we didn’t do it in front of a television or on the run, but it was quick and easy meals and meant to create an atmosphere for conversation.

Mom’s meals were much like this one– a basic recipe with few ingredients that when combined received minimal complaints! We called it winter vegetable soup because nothing really is fresh during an Ohio winter. She could keep all of these items on hand and whip this meal up in about half an hour. I prefer to cook it low and slow, of course, and add a few more seasonings. But overall, it’s the comfort of home in a cup.

Crock Pot Winter Vegetable Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Serves: 8

2 12 oz. packages frozen vegetables- broccoli, cauliflower and carrot combination

1 32 oz. box of vegetable broth

3 T. butter

1 t. minced garlic

1/2 cup crock pot caramelized onions (or substitute 1/2 sweet onion, diced)

1/2 t. each: dill weed, celery seed, basil, parsley, salt, black pepper (ALL DRIED SEASONINGS)

1/4 c. corn starch

3 cups cold milk (2% or whole is preferred)

Pour frozen vegetables into crock pot, followed by broth, butter, garlic, onions and seasonings. DO NOT ADD CORN STARCH OR MILK YET. Cook on high for four hours. In a separate bowl, dissolve corn starch into COLD milk and then add to crock pot. Cook on high for another hour. Soup will have thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste preference.


Crock Pot Broccoli and Rice

This dish is so easy, so tasty and so complete that I started it while I drank my morning coffee and we ate it for lunch. You could use this decorated-vegetable-and-carbohydrate with pretty much any protein and it would be the perfect complement.  Even my kids like it! Try this next time you want a simple side. Enjoy!

1 lb frozen broccoli spears

1 c. white rice, uncooked

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can-full of water

1/2  t. salt

1/2 t. black pepper

Put all ingredients in crock pot and stir. Make sure the rice is mixed into the water and soup and isn’t just sitting on top of the broccoli spears. Cook on low for three hours.

Crock Pot Chicken Divan

This recipe gives me crazy flashbacks! My mom use to make this when I was a kid. She made it in the oven, but it was almost the same recipe— broccoli, chicken, rice and some sauce that had a little bit of an orange color but didn’t taste at all like oranges. It took me a few more years of life to find out that the color was from the curry powder. I think Crayola should add the crayon color “curry”.  

It’s hard sometimes for my taste buds to explain the flavors to my head, but I think I’ve figured out most of my mom’s recipe.  I’ve added the crock pot. Maybe the celery seed, too, but I think it adds a nice flavor. I start with frozen chicken breasts because I never think ahead to thaw it out and I don’t like when I defrost it in the microwave and then the edges get a little cooked and weird. Using frozen chicken breasts works just fine, it will defrost and cook and fall apart into the creamy goodness of the sauce and the starch of the rice and absorb all of the spices by the time it’s done.

This home cooking will serve a table full of happy tummies and happy hearts. Enjoy!

1 lb. frozen broccoli cuts

1 c. uncooked white rice

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 t. Worchestershire sauce

1 t. fresh lemon juice

2 t. curry powder

1/2  t. celery seed

1/2 t. ground black pepper

2 T. melted butter

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese sprinkles

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. mayonnaise

Put frozen broccoli in crock pot first. Sprinkle with rice. Lay chicken breasts on top. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour on top of chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Prior to serving, shred chicken and mix everything together.