So we have been doing lots of slow cooking lately.
Here are a few of the wonderful recipes we have been making. Both are from the cookbook: Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.
French Onion Soup
So I have never eaten or made french onion soup before, but my wife loves it and we got a huge bag of onions from Costco, so I was inspired to give it a try.
Making the soup is fun because it means cooking the onions forever! It also means you have to like the smell of onions taking over your house for a full day (and then some). Start by thinly slicing 4 sweet onions and throw them in the slow cooker with 1/4 cup of olive oil on the bottom.
That is a lot of onions. Then you cook them on low for 8-10 hours OR LONGER! They get super soft and caramelized. I couldn’t resist stirring them from time to time especially since they get stuck to the sides.
About an hour before serving, you add 5-6 cups of homemade vegetable stock and cook on High an hour (or till hot enough for you). When you add the stock you salt and pepper to taste. I think I added about 1-2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
The soup is delicious with crusty toasted sourdough smothered in melted Swiss cheese.
Chipotle-Kissed Red Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
I have made this before and it was okay, so I made a few changes this time. I made it for the group of moms that get together every week or so (I like to call us “the moms who lunch) and it was my turn to host. It was a hit. I think the key to it is being able to personalize the amount of chipotle you get to add. It is also one of those recipes where you have to do a little sauteing ahead of time, but it is worth it because the peppers and onions get all melty.
Chop up an onion, a red bell pepper, and a clove of garlic. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the above ingredients and cover until softened, about 5 minutes.
Peel and cut into 1/2 chunks about 4 sweet potatoes (the recipe says 1.5 pounds).
When the onion mixture is soft add 1 tablespoon of chilli powder (I did a heaping tablespoon) and let cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the sweet potatoes and coat with the spices. Throw all that in the slow cook.
Add 14.5 ounce can of tomato (recipe says crushed I used diced which I think I like better), 15.5 ounce can of red beans (drained and rinsed), 1.5 cups of water and about 1.5 teaspoons of salt.
Now, the recipe says to cook on low for 6-8 hours. This will turn your potatoes into MUSH! If you want it that way, go for it. I keep trying to turn it off in time for the potatoes to have a little bite. So far they are still pretty mushy at 5 hours, maybe next time I’ll try 4.5 hours. I think our slow cooker is particularly hot as well. Obviously you want to the potatoes to be cooked and tender, but I would prefer them not too mushy.
When you are ready to serve, blend some chipotles in adobo sauce (chilis, sauce, seeds and all) in a blender (or the magic bullet) and serve on the side. I recommend serving it with some grated sharp cheddar and homemade cornbread.