Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Overnight Crock Pot Soup

Last night's dinner went very well. I did end up adding a little Bragg's for flavor. There was enough of the squash to make extra biscuits for breakfast, which was a big help. Whatever I make for breakfast tends to double as an afternoon snack. I don't mind because its all healthy food but with a hungry hubby and four hungry kids, things just don't last around our house.

Lately, we keep running out of bread. We can easily use a loaf a day once everyone makes their lunches. I need to pack the freezer with frozen bread dough again but I just haven't had the time. So far, I've been getting around this problem with a little creativity. We had Peanut Noodles one night which we used for lunch the following day. I made breadsticks from leftover pizza dough that the kids took with a bean dip.

Last night I was stumped. The CSA pickup was HUGE. We were running out of room in the fridge and I was just too tired to start steaming veggies for the freezer or prepping them for canning. There was no way in the world I was going to start baking bread. By about 8:15pm I knew we were in trouble and needed to come up with a solution fast. We were on the verge of an emergency run for bread for lunches, when it occured to me that we could ease the fridge overcrowing a bit and solve the lunch problem at the same time.

I put a little olive oil in the bottom of my crock pot and turned it on high. Then I chopped an onion and tossed it in, stirring it around a bit. We had enough carrots to fill both of the lower drawers in the fridge (which is huge) so I grabbed a few of them, chopped them up and threw them in on top of the onions. It takes about a half hour for the crock pot to start softening up the onions on high but it saves you from having to clean another pot. Besides, I wasn't moving fast enough to fill the crock pot before the half hour was up.

I chopped up some slightly scary looking end of season tomatoes and rinsed some cooked white beans (from the same batch I had cooked earlier.) I put the white beans in the crock first and then put the tomatoes on top. I added water until it was about an inch below where the beans came to. This is because the veggies would all leach out some water and I'm notorious for using too much water. There were some leaves that had fallen of some the greens from the CSA, so I rinsed them and threw them in too. I popped the cover on the crock and hoped for the best. Fortunately by then, Jim had finished putting away the rest of the produce.

This morning, I added a little bit of Bragg's (I'm starting to really like that stuff) and filled a thermos for everyone. There were enough biscuits to give everyone one to have with the soup too. The bonus is its a really chilly morning here in the Hudson Valley, perfect soup weather! I love it when a plan comes together!

I realize it was a soup very similar to the one the night before but some days necessity and good nutrition outweigh the need for variety. Today, I'll be steaming a lot of the greens for winter soups, making bread and hopefully canning some applesauce.

BTW, for anyone with herb gardens in areas with threat of frost. You can pick the herbs and just freeze them right from the garden to use in winter recipes. They lose texture but not flavor.


Big Apple Knitting said...
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Big Apple Knitting said...

You have such great ideas for eating well and saving money. You should write a book. You could call it something like "Tips and Tricks for Frugal Veggie households" or something like that.

Barbara said...

My 2 books at the library are in. The Tightwad Gazette and the Yankee magazine living well book. I can't wait!


Katie said...

You're going to love those books. I carried them from place to place in the house with me in case I could grab a moment to read (yes, even in the bathroom.)

Thanks for the compliment big apple knitting. The thought of putting it all together in a book is always in the back of my mind. First I need to finish editing my solar cooking articles.