This soup is so versatile, so clean, and so soothing on cold winter days. Let’s talk about all the parts, and then I’ll tell you how I made my most recent batch (it changes every time!). The list below is definitely pick and choose, mix and match, so go wild!
The base: chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, water
The protein: roasted chicken, chickpeas, lentils, navy beans, kidney beans, Italian meatballs
The vegetables: kale, bok choy, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, spinach
The flavorings: Thyme, cilantro, oregano, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, coconut milk, curry powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, parsley, red or white wine
The toppings (just before serving): fresh herbs, bread, grated Parmesan cheese, fresh pepper, Siracha or Tabasco, sliced hard boiled eggs
It’s important to chop vegetables to roughly equal sizes to ensure proper cooking. Cubed is best for most soups, unless you have a sore throat.
Put broth, flavorings, firm vegetables (carrots, potatoes, kale) and protein in a Crockpot on Low.
After 3-4 hours on Low, add soft vegetables (tomatoes, bell pepper, spinach, etc.) and more flavoring to taste.
After 2-3 more hours on Low (6-7 hours total), check for doneness. Potatoes and beans should be soft, kale should be wilted, onions should be transparent, and the other vegetables should be cooked but not falling apart.
My soup today has chicken broth, roasted chicken, lentils, kale, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a few tablespoons of olive oil. I will probably top it with Parmesan cheese. This has a pretty neutral flavor profile.
Curry stew: any base, any vegetables, potatoes, any protein, curry powder, red pepper flakes, coconut milk
Italian Wedding Soup: any base, Italian meatballs, spinach, celery, onions, garlic, carrots, parsley, grated Parmesan cheese
Cold-busting Chicken Soup: chicken broth, roasted chicken, carrots, onions, garlic, celery, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes
I hope you enjoy this recipe!