Last year I bought my daughter a small 3-quart slow cooker. She never used it. When she moved to her new apartment she left it behind, dusty and sad. I thought it was the perfect size to use for hubby and me so I cleaned it up (the ceramic pot lifts out of the metal housing - unlike my crock pot - so it's really easy to clean) and chose my first recipe.
The 'owner's manual' only has 4 recipes: jambalaya, minestrone, chili, and stew. I already make pretty good chili and stew, and spicy Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya isn't my cup of tea so that left soup. It is super easy to make by combining all the ingredients, except for the pasta and some Parmesan cheese as a topping, in the slow cooker. I let it cook for 7 hours on low (the house smelled amazing!!!) and then added the dried pasta for the last 20 minutes on high. After the rotini were tender I set the temperature dial to 'keep warm' (another feature my crock doesn't have) until hubby got home for dinner.
The Vegetable Minestrone was awesome! It was thick and hearty with a great flavour. It is quite tomato-y so if you don't care for a tomato-based soup, you might not enjoy this. I thought it was great and so easy to make. This recipe made a big batch of soup and I froze several containers (which other daughter has requested). It will make a wonderful lunch or light dinner. I really like the smaller slow cooker and can't wait to make the next dinner. I picked up some flavour packets at the store for Chicken Stew and Pot Roast. I'll let you know how they turn out. I just love using the crock pot, especially over the winter, and filling my home with a delicious aroma of dinner cooking while I do other, more important, stuff - like crafting!
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups tomato juice
Half tablespoon dried basil leaves
Half a teaspoon of salt
Quarter teaspoon dried oregano leaves
One quarter teaspoon pepper
Two medium carrots sliced [1 cup]
Two medium celery stalks chopped [1 cup]
one medium onion chopped
Half cup sliced fresh mushrooms
Two garlic cloves finely chopped
One can 28 ounces diced tomatoes not drained
1 cup uncooked rotini pasta
Shredded Parmesan cheese if desired
Mix all ingredients except pasta and cheese and slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in pasta. Cover and cook on high setting 15 to 20 minutes or until pasta is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.