Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crockpot Vegetable Soup

Man, it's been cold lately!  We Southern Californians just aren't used to it.  We can sure use the rain, so if the cold leads to rain, it is ok with me.  Rainy days are great for big hot pots of soup.  The crockpot is the perfect vehicle for cooking it and being free to do other things at the same time.

You can really put any vegetables you have on hand in this soup.  The variety I chose worked well but feel free to change it up.  The slow cooking allows the flavors to meld and develop character.

Crockpot Vegetable Soup

3 cups chopped Chinese cabbage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 15-ounce can white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 1/2-ounce diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies (or regular diced tomatoes for milder soup)
1 cup frozen peas (or 1/2 cup frozen peas and 1/2 cup frozen corn)
3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon Better that Bouillon base, any flavor
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme plus more for garnish, optional
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf

Place all ingredients in crockpot.  Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low.  Remove bay leaf.  Makes about 8 cups, or 4 2-cup servings.  Serve each bowl with sprig of thyme for garnish, if desired.

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