Soup makes a wonderful comfort food in cooler weather and with a crock pot or slow cooker it's super easy to toss in ingredients and get on with your day, knowing you'll have a satisfying supper with minimal effort. On hectic weeknights when there's little time to cook, soup is an ideal meal -- just add a salad and dinner is served!
The next time you cook chicken breasts, save a portion for the freezer. Having them ready saves prep time and opens a variety of soup options from chicken tortilla soup to rich homemade chicken noodle. Use leftover and fading veggies, and keep a supply of canned chicken and beef stock or broth ready for the crock pot as a base for a variety of soups.
A restaurant favourite, French Onion soup is easy to make at home. Diced yellow onion, 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, a bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and 3 cups of beef or chicken broth can be put together in under 10 minutes and simmered for two hours. Just melt the butter and saute the onions until they're golden brown, then add them to the broth with the rest of the ingredients. Season as needed. When you're ready to serve, ladel into heat-proof bowls and top with a piece of toasted bread cut to fit the top of the bowl. Cover that top with cheese and place under the grill until the cheese melts and begins to brown. Serve hot.
Chicken broth and veggies combine for a great soup to serve with grilled cheese sandwich squares. Just dump whatever fresh, frozen or canned veggies you have on hand into chicken broth in your slow cooker and let it simmer at medium heat. For some variety, add cooked brown or wild rice, or small noodles. It's hearty and healthy, and a great way to use leftover produce... cabbage, carrots, celery and so forth in a filling and healthy dish.
Chicken tortilla soup uses tortilla strips (or chips!) combined with shredded chicken and chopped vegetables -- peppers, onions, and celery -- frozen corn and a few tablespoons of tomato paste, plus spices: 2 teaspoons chilli powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ground black pepper to taste in chicken broth or a stock base. Put it all together in a slow cooker, reserving the frozen corn to add in the last 10 minutes. If you've precooked the chicken breasts and sauted the vegetables, cooking time totals under an hour. This healthy soup welcomes toppings like sour cream, grated cheese, crushed tortilla chips or chunks of fresh avocado.
Use your creativity to make favourite soup combinations: broccoli and cheese, potato and cauliflower, chicken with egg noodles or a vegetarian vegetable. Add pastas, rice, sliced sausage bits or cooked bacon and favourite seasonings. You'll savour the goodness and easy satisfaction of soup for supper!
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