Last year, I started a tradition for our little family of "Crock-Pot Wednesdays". It is hard for us to eat before Awana, since it starts at 6, and I never feel like cooking afterwards, so the Crock-Pot is the perfect solution. The house smells wonderful, and it's ready to eat when we walk in the door! I experimented with a few different Crock-Pot meals last year (such as lasagna and tamale pie), with disastrous results. Since I never know exactly when we'll get home, those types of meals didn't seem to be working out. So I decided to go with soup, which, if you choose the right type, can be left simmering for hours and just keeps improving! We discovered many new and delicious homemade soups, and as soon as the rain set in and Awana was on the horizon, we started to look forward to beginning our "Soup Nights" again.
I had a leftover half a roast in the freezer, so the first recipe I pulled out was a "Beefy Cabbage Soup" I had found in About.com's "Southern Food" section but never got around to trying. We experimented with cabbage soup last year, and both loved it! It is so healthy, and when I worked out the cost, amounts to just a few dollars a meal! It is hearty and filling and fills your home with delightful smells! Even if you don't like cabbage, I'd encourage you to give it a try!
Tip: most soups without lots of rice or noodles freeze tremendously well, so don't be afraid to fill your Crock-Pot even if, like us, there are only a couple of you! It makes for a very easy meal later- I just barely defrost it and plop it into the Crock-Pot again to let it completely defrost and heat up. So simple!
Crock Pot Beefy Cabbage Soup
by Diana Rattray, on About.com
tweaked by Jenn
makes 6-8 servings
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium sized carrots, sliced thinly
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 TB rice
4-5 cups beef broth (or 3 to 4 cans)- I saved the liquid from when I cooked the roast and used that in place of some of the beef broth for extra flavor!
1 or 2 meaty soup bones, or 3 cups leftover roast, cut into chunks
2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
savory seasoning to taste
parsley to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all in slow cooker. Simmer for 8-10 hours or until vegetables are tender.
This recipe is linked to: Southernfood.about.com