Souped Up and Slowed Down

Soup is probably the food most people associate strongly with slow cookers. The long cooking time brings a special oomph to the flavor of even basic dishes. That being said, we’ve all had soups from a slow cooker that were maybe a bit overcooked or had a weird balance of textures. These tips will help you soup up your slow cooker soup game.

Soften your aromatics.

Onions, garlic, carrots, and celery are usually softened in a little bit of oil or stock before adding other ingredients. Stick to this process, cooking any pastes (like curry or tomato) for a minute or so, and then deglazing the pan with some of your stock to get all of the best flavor bits into the slow cooker.

Keep it low and slow.

For soup, where the dish is technically edible very quickly and you’re mostly cooking to improve flavor, always use the low setting, especially if you’re going to leave it all day. Leaving the slow cooker on high will leave you with burned edges and food stuck to the bottom for a dish that tastes weird and is harder to clean up after.

Save the tenders for the end.

Some veggies, like frozen peas, have very short cook times and don’t stand up well to heat over a prolonged period. Add these items in the final half hour or so to keep their color appetizing and their texture intact.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup

Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup

One Guiding Stars iconOne Guiding Stars indicate good nutritional value. Vegetable soup tastes best when the flavors have time to develop over low heat.

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Last week’s tip: Lean in to Slow-Cooked Meat

Next week’s tip: Ham It Up