One thing that irks me about some slow cooker recipes is when you are asked to first brown all ingredients in a pot on the stove. For Pete's sake, if I'm going to dirty a pot, I'm going to cook the whole meal in it, start to finish. I know they have slow cookers now that can also brown meats, but I don't have one and I'll have to wait till my circa 1995 crockpot bites the dust before I will lay out more cash for the latest model. For now, if a recipe asks me to cook everything in a pot on the stove, then transfer it to my slow cooker, it doesn't make it into my mealtime repertoire. I categorically refuse to wash two pots for what ought to be a one pot meal.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I have extra justification for my refusal this week. My sink developed a nasty case of slow drip this week. Drip....drip....drip. At first, if I turned the faucet just right, it was an even slower drip. Drip............drip......................drip. But then, it surrendered to dripdripdrip and it had to be addressed. The Quiet Man put on a manly plaid shirt and curled up under the sink for all of Friday night. I was standing close at hand, worried about my sink full of dishes that I desperately wanted to wash so that I could feel that Friday night/peace with the world kind of feeling. At nine thirty plaid-clad Quiet Man informed me that he needed a special part to be able to fix the sink, so would I kindly check Home Depot on-line to see if it was open. Open till ten, I reported. Meanwhile, West found an old flyswatter in the junk that his Dad emptied from under the sink, so he naturally began to chase his sister around the house, who tripped over her Dad who was laying with his face inside the cupboard, fixing the sink. Sailor should seriously consider a career in voice-overs for radio murder mysteries; she can scream, shriek and wail like no body's business. Except I think people would change the radio station, at least I would have if I could have. WAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! MOOOOOMMMMMMMY!!!! HE'S CHAAAAASING ME WITH A FLYYYYYYY SWAAAAAAATER!!!!! We piled all of the ear-shattering chaos into the minivan and raced towards Home Depot, which was naturally dark, quiet, and closed since 9 o'clock. I know we're not supposed to believe everything we read on the Internet, but I thought the Home Depot website would have a little integrity. Didn't they know that a sink full of dirty dishes and my sanity were hanging in the balance?
Just a little peek into my platform for a minimum of dirty dishes. And with that, I'll share my Creamy Potato Soup in the slow cooker. This soup is satisfying, velvety and creamy. The rich flavor comes from a roux that would require dirtying another pan, but I've created a shortcut using a kneaded flour and butter mixture. I've tinkered and reduced cream and butter to the maximum I could get away with and still create a luxurious texture and mouth feel. You'll love the ease of preparing it, the taste of the soup, and the one (crock) pot clean up when you're done. And incidentally, my sink is working again. I think I'll give it the day off, to celebrate.
Money Saving Tips:
Use any potato that is on sale at your grocer's. Idaho russets are delicious, but Yukon gold and red potatoes make a very creamy soup, too. You can use baby carrots to save yourself peeling time. Swap out bouillon cubes for the broth. You can use low fat milk, but you might want to increase the butter a bit if you do.
Creamy Potato Soup in the SlowCooker
Estimated Cost: $ 5.00 for four large servings
Notes: Roughly chop your vegetables, since you'll mash them down later.
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used Yukon gold)
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
2 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 -3/4 cream, half and half, whole milk, evaporated milk, or evaporated fat free milk
salt and pepper to taste
In a slow cooker, place the onion, carrots, potatoes, broth and parsley. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Use a potato mashed to crush the potatoes and vegetables to an almost smooth consistency. In a small bowl, combine butter and flour until smooth. Using a wire whisk, combine butter mixture with soup, whisking until smooth. Pour in cream and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. IMPORTANT: If you are using milk in place of the cream, do not let the soup boil after adding.
Beef and Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker