|Vegetable soup, September 2017|
The slow cooker is great in summer: I can make a hot meal without heating up the house. And it's much cheaper to run than the gas oven; I've been making most of our meals in it. It's really easy to do, if I schedule for it.
After I take the seven year old to school I do my daily walk around the garden; after watering the pots, I usually pick anything that's ready. After I've collected everything for our dinner, I bring them in and wash (root vegetables) or soak (leafy veg) them. Some things, like runner beans or zuccini, generally don't need a wash. Next, I trim/peel them if needed, weigh and record them, then prepare them for cooking.
For the most part, I just chop everything up the same size and throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker together, on the low setting. If using a mixture of hard and soft veg (for instance carrots, potatoes and chard), I'll leave out the soft vegetables until about an hour before dinner time (chard stems can go in at the beginning, however). I usually add fresh herbs near the end of cooking too: maybe 15-30 minutes before serving.
Does it get old eating vegetable soup five nights a week? Well, it's so tasty I don't think so, and no one else has complained (yet). I try to vary the spices and seasonings, and at the moment, we have enough variety of veg so that it isn't the same ingredients every single day. Maybe if we ate it five nights a week for the next year...