It's chilly out there, and creating the perfect soup to warm you up starts with your crisper! Use these five tips to craft your soon-to-be favorite seasonal vegetable soup recipes.
1. Start with Homemade Broth: Keep all of your vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer. Add the scraps, enough water to cover them and a bit of salt to your CrockPot. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. After that, you can freeze or can your broth for use in vegetable soup recipes and other culinary creations. It's much healthier and more frugal than store-bought broth. If you prefer a meaty broth, create your own bone broth. Use beef soup bones or any poultry carcass. Cover with water, add a splash of apple cider vinegar and cook on LOW for 24 hours.
2. Check the Crisper: Go into your crisper (and whatever leftovers containers you have in your fridge) and assemble your vegetable bits and decide what will go together best. In the fall, you'll likely have carrots, cabbage and onions. Add any roasted veggies like turnips or beets as well.
3. Set Your Flavor: Once you've picked the veggies you'll use, decide how to season your soup. If you like go Italian, Mexican or even Indian with Italian seasoning, cumin or curry spices. If you're cooking it low and slow in the CrockPot, cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
4. Toss in Your Add-Ins: Near the end of your cooking time, add in any noodles, chopped meats or other pre-cooked extras. Noodles only take about 15 minutes on high to cook in the broth. Meats will soak up the flavor of your soup pretty quickly, so add them with just enough time to warm them up.
5. Top it Off: Toppings can make or break your soup. So let everyone pick from a variety of toppings set out on the table. Shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions and croutons are great choices. But get creative with whatever you like in your soup and be sure to experiment to find the best soup toppers.
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