When it's cold here in the MidWest, it is COLD. We don't mess around! But we seasoned snow bunnies know that warm clothes and a hot meal can transform the view out your window from that of the frozen tundra to a winter wonderland. That's why I am stocking up on great winter recipes to keep me cozy-warm inside. I've been craving a hearty soup, so I thought I'd give Seven Vegetable Soup a try. I love veggies and had a number of them already on hand. Of course, another big drawing card was that this recipe is crock pot ready. And as someone who is not a morning person, I'm delighted to have almost zero prep before I go to work in the morning in order to have a meal prepared when I get home! I was sold.
In order to get to work on time, I accounted for all of my ingredients the night before. The magic seven are: tomatoes, potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery and creamed spinach. So, I scrubbed the potatoes in advance, peeled the onions and put them in the fridge, and set the non-perishable items out on my counter.
The next morning, combine potato cubes (I had little baby potatoes, so I chopped up a few extra), chopped onions, two cups of chopped carrots (I had a bag of shredded carrots left over from a salad I made, so I decided to use those rather than having them go to waste), cabbage, can of fire-roasted tomatoes, diced tomato (fresh or from a can) and the seasonings. Ryan and I aren't big fans of celery, so we skipped that this time. Instead, I washed and cut up fresh mushrooms to add late in the afternoon when we got home as my seventh vegetable.
TIP: Be sure to toss your creamed spinach into the fridge before you leave so it can thaw during the day.
Once the vegetables were all in the crock pot, I gently mixed them.
Now it's time to put the cover on the crock pot, turn it on low for 8-10 hours and let it work it's magic!
Ryan added the mushrooms about an hour before we wanted to eat our soup - so they wouldn't get mushy by being cooked all day long. When I got home, all of the vegetables had cooked through, but the broth was watery. Have no fear though...
The creamed spinach is the perfect solution to thickening the broth. About 10 minutes before you're ready to eat your soup, increase the crock pot setting to high, add the spinach and stir thoroughly.
Stir the soup occasionally until it thickens.
TIP: For those who like meat (like Ryan and I do), beef is a delicious add-in to this soup. Just brown the meat, cut it into cubes and add it in with the vegetables before the long, slow cooking.
Now the Seven Vegetable Soup is ready to serve! Ladle portions into bowls and top with Land O'Lakes shredded cheddar cheese. You have a hearty, delicious meal to warm you up on even the coldest winter day.
What are your favorite veggies? Are there any you would add to this list of seven wonder-vegetables? I'd love to hear your suggestions for next time! And, as always, rate and review this yummy Seven Vegetable Soup recipe. On Thursday Becky will share with you how to make the favorite Thanksgiving dessert -- Pumpkin pie!