The Secret of Great Soup
The flavor of a soup is largely dependent on the stock. If you just use the pre-made cartons from the store, they are expensive and have very little flavor. Get the stock cubes or paste and use then with water, for a much richer flavor.
Better Than Bouillon is a must if you are a soup lover. They have the regular, beef and chicken and vegetable flavor, but they also have a line of the vegetarian chicken. I don’t eat most meat for moral reasons ( haven’t for 37 years), but I want that rich full taste. So these are perfect for everyone. They can cost over $6 in the usual large supermarkets, I found them in Walmart for $3.44. Get 3 or 4 jars and have enough for the entire winter.
I also love these Not Chick’n and Not Beef stock cubes from sprouts at less than $3 for a box of 8 cubes. I only usually need 2 bouillion cubes per soup. You can also make a cup of instant soup with them, add flavor to rice while it cooks or mashed potato (cuts down on the amount of butter needed). If you don’t cook much and don’t have fresh herbs, these little packages of flavor, can save the day.
Beans do so well in the crock pot because they don’t even need to be soaked before you use them. This is a cross between a rich onion soup and a bean soup. Beef stock is traditionally used in onion soup, so I used ‘not-beef’ stock cubes to give it a rich onion soup flavor.
While you cook your soup, throw in all your vegetable stalks like cauliflower, asparagus or broccoli or a whole carrot and celery stick. You can also throw in your Parmesan rinds. Anything to help get a rich flavor. You simply take them out at the end.
2 Cups White Beans – Washed
1 Cup Shallots – Peeled and Sliced
4 Carrots – Peeled and Sliced
1/2 Cup frozen Spinach (or more)
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1 not-beef Stock Cubes – Or regular if you eat meat
Knob of Butter
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tsp Fresh or Dried Thyme
4 Garlic Cloves – Peeled
Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Place everything in crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6.