Season of Slow Cooking Continues

Last week Monday: 1 quart crock, a bargain picked up for almost nothing second hand, the crock with a lid that doesn’t match because I picked it up for almost nothing…I already said that. Anyway, Monday’s crock pot task was to thaw and heat a soup from the freezer. This worked famously. This small crock is like a Little Dipper, just twice the size. It has two settings: on or off. Plug it in, it’s on. Unplug it, the crock’s off. Bean soup just sounded like a perfect addition to a new flavor from the local meat market: bacon bratwurst.

Last week Wednesday: Eating the Opponent, Arizona! We normally do this on the weekend, but we may be traveling as the weekend arrives. I modified a recipe from Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and let the flavors simmer in the crock pot all day. My Packers didn’t win, but they really invested a phenomenal effort in a dramatic and close game.

We were out of town over the weekend, so the crocks sat unused. Heck, the whole kitchen sat unused. But now, back in the bitter cold realm we call home, the slow cooker again fills the house with its flavor-filled aromas. Oh, did that sound too contrived? Sorry. 

On our way home from Illinois, we stopped at one of our favorite specialty stores near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We stocked up with the best pot pies on the market and a number of soup mixes. I’m making the lentil and Italian sausage mix today. We had Italian sausage in the freezer (a frequent stock-up item from the Nearby Meat Market), and I knew I’d be home working on progress reports all day. A soup that cooks slowly is the perfect menu item.

To summarize: Today, Monday, there’s a soup in the biggest crock pot. Lentils, Italian sausage, homemade beef stock, and a tiny package of dried veggies are simmering together. By supper, I expect this will be exactly what we need.

So, readers, do you have any favorite soups for cold winter weather? I’d love to hear suggestions.

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