It’s Slow Cooker Week here on BGSK!
We’re co-hosting a Slow Cooker Challenge (remember the awesome brown bag week we did over the summer?) with Small Kitchen College and Kelsey of The Naptime Chef and bringing you fabulous low and slow recipes all week long. Make sure to stop by SKC to enter to win a fabulous Delonghi slow cooker, courtesy of BigKitchen.com. And we hope you’ll join us on Wednesday at noon for a live twitter chat along with Food52, The Daily Meal, Punchfork, Fine Cooking, Foodily, OXO Good Grips and more.
When we first started brainstorming ideas for this winter challenge, one thing we wanted to avoid was excluding all those people who don’t own slow cookers. Well guess what: I don’t have one either! (Fortunately, Cara does; her tips are here, and she’ll have recipes later in the week.) But that hasn’t stopped me from embracing the idea of slow cooking. At BGSK, we’ve always celebrated one-pot, hands-off recipes, whether they’re safely cooking in a Crock Pot, or slowly braising in the oven.
This “slow cooker” tomato soup was pioneered on the stove-top in my trusty Dutch oven, but like many recipes you would use in an actual slow cooker, all the ingredients are combined at the beginning, and then you just leave them alone to soften, intensify, and cook, um, slowly. By not sauteing anything at the beginning of the recipe, you can cut out a lot of the fat, which makes slow cooker recipes all the more healthful. That said, for a creamy soup like this that nixes the dairy entirely, I found that a few tablespoons of olive oil really added to the richness and silky texture of the end result. If you’re watching your waistline, feel free to omit it!
Winter, especially after the holidays, tends to be a time when I get down in the recipe dumps. So what better time to come together with an all-star group of bloggers to share recipes and bring inspiration to the table–whether you own a slow cooker or not!
If you like spicy food, you’ll enjoy this Creamy Habanero and Tomato Soup!
We hope you’ll get in on the action and join the fun.
From my kitchen, cooking low and slow, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
This dish is also part of the Gojee virtual potluck! Starting on Thursday, January 26, check out other potluck dishes fellow gojee contributors shared. Go to gojee.com and enter “gojeepotluck” into I Crave. You can also follow #gojeepotluck on Twitter.
Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup
Makes 4-6 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 medium sweet onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 quart chicken broth
10 basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
Freshly grated Parmesan (for garnish, optional)
Slow cooker version:
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then puree in batches in a blender until very smooth. Serve immediately, or transfer the soup back to the slow cooker and keep on low until your guests arrive.
Combine all ingredients in a heavy lidded pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low, and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then puree in batches in a blender until very smooth. If you like a thinner consistency, add a little bit more stock or water. Serve immediately, or transfer the soup back to the pot and keep on low until your guests arrive.
Garnish with more fresh basil and some grated Parmesan cheese.