My fancy 6 quart CrockPot with digital timer
Photo from www.Crock-Pot.com
This is a very simple way to cook. The ingredients go in, the CrockPot works its slow cooking magic, and delicious food comes out without any stirring, watching, or fussiness. I use it most on weekdays, so I can turn it on in the morning and come home from work with dinner waiting for me. This CrockPot automatically switches to warm after it's reached the total cooking time, but things seldom burn in a slow cooker. This is also a kitchen must-have in the summer, so you can bake or roast without turning the oven on.
Soups and stews are probably the ideal recipes for a slow cooker since their flavors develop best over time. This recipes makes a ton of soup, so my freezer is getting nicely stocked.
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 1 apple
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 10 cups of water
- 4 teaspoons of salt
- 3 teaspoons of allspice
- 2 teaspoons of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
- 6 quart [or larger] slow cooker
- immersion or standard blended
Do you want another reason to try this recipe? It's cheap! The spices eliminate the need for vegetable or chicken stock. This also accidentally makes it a vegan soup. I think soup recipes in the slow cooker rarely need a stock if it's spiced well. Depending on your taste and tolerance for spice, adjust the cayenne pepper. Just one teaspoon, even in this large quantity, was enough for me with the other spices. I love the garlic in this soup, even though the cloves didn't make their way into the picture. Don't forget them!
Peel the carrots and the sweet potatoes. You don't need to peel the apples. Chop everything up and put in the slow cooker's stoneware. Try to get similar sizes, but you don't need to be perfect. You never need to be perfect in the kitchen. Add the water and the spices and stir.
Set your slow cooker on low and cook for 8-10 hours.
I prepared everything the night before and set it to cook before I left for work. This cooked for nearly 11 hours and I immediately blended it. Be very careful since the soup is very hot and splatters will burn. I blend from the bottom, stirring as if it were spoon. After about 3 minutes, it was a great consistency. If you use a traditional blender, very carefully blend the soup in small batches and move to another pot.
The apples and carrots add a bit of sweetness to balance the flavors, though I wish these carrots hadn't been so wimpy. I may try one more apple next time. This is a fiber-rich, healthy soup.
My husband and I ate this with our wonder bread and had it for lunch for two days. The freezer now has some spicy sweet potato soup waiting for some future cold night.