Crock-it! That’s right, it’s crock pot time yall! My parents gave me my beloved crock pot at the beginning of this year. And when I say they “gave” it to me, I actually mean I nagged them until they bought one for me, thanks Mom and Dad! What can I say? I’m persistent, and it’s a good thing too. I don’t know how I would’ve survived this year without it. Newsflash: we’re in a recession! There’s no shame in making a big ol’ pot of soup to slurp on for a week. It won’t break your budget OR take too much time out of your schedule because you “fix it and forget it”! Yep, I went there, it’s the official crock pot/slow cooker infomercial slogan. But it is so true. Sundays I pick a recipe, chop up all the ingredients, throw them in the pot, set it and, say it with me now, FORGET IT! Some hours later I have 5 quarts of delicious warm soup waiting for me. Obviously, I don’t eat all 5 quarts at once. One crock pot of soup usually lasts me about a week and sometimes I even eat it twice a day.
This week I made my very own Yumyum Vegetable Barley Soup, as you can guess from the name, its scrumdiddly-YUM-cious. Sidenote: please excuse the over excited-ness of this post I think I am delirious due to extreme sleep deprivation–I’m in college, don’t judge. Seeing as I have managed to ramble on for way too long, I’m going to get to the point. I came up with this recipe after trying many minestrone/veggie soup recipes, combining them, and then one day deciding to try barley instead of pasta. As Emeril would say, Bam! Its great. Besides being a tasty bowl of soup, it’s also super healthy because it’s filled with veggies, kidney beans for protein, and barley for fiber. Some friends described it as “soup you would eat before you climb a mountain” because it’s jam packed with amazing flavors and lots of healthy ingredients. Here’s the recipe, crock-it, and then go climb a mountain.
Yumyum Vegetable Barley Soup
(Best made in a 5-6 quart crock pot)
4 cups vegetable broth low sodium
10 oz spinach (I use frozen, zap it in the microwave and then add it)
2 medium onions diced
2 cloves of garlic chopped
28 oz diced canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
15 oz canned kidney beans
2 medium carrots chopped
2 medium celery stalks chopped
3/4 cup barley
Salt to taste (can always add more after cooked as needed)
Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook about 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
*No healthy swaps for this recipe, because it’s all healthy.
Yes it’s that easy. Do yourself (and those who get to eat your leftovers) a favor and save up for a crock pot if you don’t already have one! They aren’t too expensive, at Bed Bath and Beyond they start at just $29.99, plus then you get to use the phrase crock-it! It’s a win win situation.