3 Super-Easy Slow-Cooker Soup Recipes

Whip up these simple slow cooker soups so that dinner awaits when you walk in the door.

| December/January 2012

  • Though corn chowder is usually made with bacon, I like to add smoked salt and smoked Gouda to this soup instead.
    Photo by Ben Pieper

Those of us who work a 9-to-5 job rarely have time to do the prep work required for a soup before going to work in the morning. And while most soup recipes require little preparation other than browning onions, chopping vegetables and grinding spices, all of these tasks can be done ahead of time to save stress and strain in the morning before you leave for work.

Super-Easy Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
Slow Cooker: Corn Chowder Soup
Slow Cooker: Black Bean Chili
Slow Cooker: Enchilada Soup 

Ingredients can always be chopped and stored overnight in the refrigerator in plastic bags for easy assembly in the morning. Onions can even be browned and stored ahead of time, and spices can be ground and stored in plastic bags (or in a pinch, you can use already ground spices). In the morning, you can consign everything to the pot and turn it on before you walk out the door.

Choosing a Slow Cooker 

Choosing the right slow cooker is important. For several years, I have used and recommended the inexpensive slow cookers from Home Depot, Walmart and Target. The big, fancy, very expensive digital models have always seemed superfluous to me. A digital panel is just one more thing that can break, and up until recently, I have been unable to discern any significant difference in the finished product or the ease of cooking between the cheap models and the more expensive ones.

That is to say until I recently found an expensive slow cooker that I enjoy very much: the All-Clad slow cooker with an anodized aluminum insert. The All-Clad insert can be used directly on top of the stove, so you can brown your ingredients, then lift the insert very carefully into the slow cooker casing so you never have to use any other pans for your slow-cooked meal. It is very easy to clean (unlike some cookware that claims to be easy to clean but really isn’t) and has worked beautifully for me.

11/1/2012 6:47:53 PM

The cheap slow cookers have lead in the pottery that can leach into your food and aluminum is linked to Alzheimer's. Is there a safe slow cooker out there to purchase?

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