Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Slow cooker mixed vegetable soup

Slow cooker mixed vegetable soup
Many years ago each summer we would look forward to going strawberry picking. One particular farm was our favourite because of its size. When you arrived you always listened out for which field was being picked that day. Our hope was that it would be one of the far fields as this meant you got to travel there on the trailer attached to the back of the trailer.

About 10 years the owner retired and the pick-your-own business closed down along with all the others in the area. A couple of months ago I saw an advert for the farm saying it was opening again to sell gardening equipment, plants plus a range of fruit and veg. Unlike other farm shops the prices aren't astronomical but akin to a market stall. The added bonuses are that you can pick out exactly what you want and if you need a bag they are all paper ones.

When I popped in last week I couldn't resist one of their cauliflowers at just 49p. Beautiful white florets surrounded by a mass of leaves. Most people would chop the leaves off and throw them in the bin or on the compost heap. There's no need to waste them as they make an excellent addition to soup. The rest of the ingredients in this soup are just general vegetables I had at home but do try to add a parsnip in. They have a natural sweetness to them so any bitterness the cauliflower leaves may have is neutralised by the parsnip.

Equipment: Slow cooker/Crockpot, hand blender

Ingredients

2 Carrots
2 Leeks
1 Parsnip
2 Potatoes
Cauliflower leaves
1 Chicken stock cube
1 Vegetable stock cube
Seasoning to taste.

Method

1. Pre-heat the slow cooker to HIGH.
2. Roughly chop all the vegetables up and put in the slow cooker.
3. Make up the stock cubes by adding around 2½ pints (1.5L) hot water.
4. Pour the stock into the slow cooker.
5. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour and then switch to LOW for a further two hours.
6. Blitz with the hand blender until the required thickness.
7. Add any seasoning to taste.

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