So. Some days I can do really awesome things like run a marathon. Other days (usually Sundays if we’re being on honest) the only marathon I’m doing is taking place on Netflix.
I’ve been battling a cold post-marathon, and being a gigantic baby about (it’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve been sick) so my daily objectives have been something more along the lines of “survival”.
My point is, the easier meals can be to make, THE BETTER.
It was really cool and rainy when we made our grocery list this past weekend, so at the time soup/stew seemed like a fantastic idea. It was 78 degrees today, so this was something that was better in theory than execution.
Pat and I are also “soup people”. When it’s colder out we are all about comfort food in the form of a delicious soup, stew, or chili. So we have a lot of experience playing around with different recipes, meats, beans, and broths. Fortunately he is able to eat a lot more vegetables now, so making soup is a bit more fun now as I can add more vegetables.
The stew in terms of flavor was just as good in execution as it was in theory. It was also super easy, so easy in fact, it only involved me turning on my slow cooker today. This is also a really awesome meal prep recipe in a few different ways: 1) It can easily be done on your “meal prep” day and eaten as needed throughout the week, or 2) you can chop your desired vegetables for the stew on your meal prep day throw them all together then dump them in your slow cooker the day of.
Fall Vegetable & Bean Soup
- 1-1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat or chicken breasts
- 32 oz broth
- 2-3 cups of your favorite seasonal veggies (we opted for butternut squash & zucchini
- 1 can diced tomatoes (pro-tip, puree them if you want your soup to be more “stew-like”)
- salt, pepper, garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can of your favorite beans, rinsed
- Cut your veggies (as I mentioned above you can cut them on your meal prep day, and make this later in the week)
- Season your protein – I put the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic right on my beef before I put in the crock pot
- Add all of you other ingredients to the broth on your slow cooker (except the canned beans, if using droed then add right away)
- If you do this in the morning, cook on low for 6-8 hours, if you want it ready a bit faster, cook on high for two hours, then turn to low until you’re ready to eat
With regard to the beans, we typically use canned, rinsed beans. Normally I just set the can out next to crock pot, and whoever gets home from work first opens the can, rinses the beans, and puts them in the slow cooker with everything else. We do this so the beans don’t turn to mush.
One “weird” thing about me is that I am very particular about tomatoes. I enjoy the flavor they have, but I will not eat them raw, or in large chunks. So I opted to puree them as opposed to tossing them in just “diced”, as I mentioned before you can toss them in diced, or if you pop them in a food processor/blender for 30 seconds you will have a lovely tomato puree that serves as a thickener for your base. Yes you can use tomato paste or sauce, but honestly it will have added sugar or salt, and I mean I like the way my recipe tasted… so make it my way. :)
This is great just as a soup, I also like it over a small bit of polenta when I’m eating the leftovers. It’s a great way to get more veggies in as well!!
This is also a really flexible recipe. What I mean by that is, you can decide which types and how much of the veggies you put in. You can add meat, or use a few different types of beans. As I mentioned before this is perfect to start on your meal prep day and eat throughout the week, or just chop the veggies you will need on your meal prep day. I did the latter and was able to very seamlessly thrown everything together before leaving for work!