I have to admit, I’m still mourning summer a little. My pool bag is sitting unpacked by the front door, a constant reminder of blissful summer mornings spent floating on a raft as my son swam circles around me. On those non-school days when I’m playing hide and seek (the dreadful version where I’m told exactly where to hide, in the same spot every time) with my bored three-year old who needs more activity than I have energy, I long for the lazy mornings at the pool. No make-up necessary, no constricting jeans, no socks and shoes to locate and coordinate. Fall is so much more work!
There is one consolation prize. As the warm weather leaves, soup weather arrives. As I write this, I’m in my favorite red sweatshirt, curled under a big blanket with our new dog. The wind is howling through my chimney, a roofer is climbing on my roof assessing damage from another chilling thunderstorm, and I am looking up soup recipes for you (okay, maybe mostly for me…but I’m sharing my finds with you). Soup is the only thing that just might bring me comfort on this cloudy dreary cold day. A really delicious bowl of soup might even give me the strength to put away the pool bag and face one more round of toddlerized hide and seek.
The thing with a lot of slow cooker soup recipes is that the directions call for a four hour cook time. Not many teachers I know have time to come home to prep dinner on their lunch break, so all eight of these yummy slow cooker soup recipes have relatively quick prep times, most just around 15 minutes, and can cook for at least 8 hours. If you know you’ll be longer, try adding an extra cup of liquid to the recipe. Also, any recipe that calls for browning of the meat or sauteeing veggies first, can be prepped the night before. If you have the fridge space, you can even put everything in the crockpot the night before and refrigerate it until morning.
Cheeseburger Crockpot Soup
With hamburger meat, hashbrowns, and nacho cheese soup, this recipe by This Mama Loves would be the perfect soup to feed hungry teenager boys. The directions say to cook on high for 5-6 hours, but you could easily put it on low and simmer all day while you’re at work.
Slow Cooker Pizza Chili Recipe
Another one of those perfect teenage boy (or hungry husband) recipes. This chili recipe by How to Have it All using Italian sausage, pepperoni, and pizza sauce is perfect for a night when you’ll be gone and the family has to fend for themselves. Who isn’t excited to come home to pizza when mom has to work late?
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
I didn’t discover the comforts of split pea soup until the last few years. I was missing out! It’s not only easy, but split peas are so cheap, so you can really stretch your budget with a legume-based soup like this one. Blogger Samantha of Five Heart Home describes the soup like this: Your Crock-Pot does all the work for this warm and comforting soup, made hearty (but not heavy) by the addition of diced ham, potatoes, and carrots.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
The Every Day Coupon Queentold me this is her most requested recipe on her site. Like many soups, it’s forgiving and flexible. No time to chop 6 potatoes? Use a bag of frozen hashbrowns. Out of cream? Use milk. It’s hard to go wrong with potato soup, any way you spin it.
Healthified Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
I love directions like this: “Toss all the ingredients for the soup into your crock pot and give everything a good stir. Secure the lid and set to cook on low for 6-8 hours.” At less than 300 calories and 2 grams of fat, and boasting 24 grams of protein and several great reviews, the Skinny Fork delivers on both health and taste.
Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup
Foxes Love Lemons describes this soup like this: “It has all of the flavors of decadent Chicken Parmesan, but in a more waist-friendly vehicle. Chicken broth and crushed tomatoes are simmered with garlic, onion, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes for an aromatic base. Shredded lean chicken breast, green bell pepper and gemelli pasta fill you up. And everything is topped with a little cheese, of course.” We’re sold.
Slow Cooker Indian Potato Kale Soup
With no dairy or meat, this soup by Veggie Converter still delivers a creamy, hearty, spicy meal. It calls for some unique ingredients you may or may not have in your pantry, such as garam masala, ground coriander, curry paste, and chickpeas. If you’re feeling adventurous, this one’s for you.
Crockpot Creamy Tomato Soup
This soup is so so easy. Sure there are a lot of delicious tomato soup recipes that call for fresh tomatoes, but on a busy school morning, nothing beats opening up a can and pouring. Plus, the flavor of tomatoes canned or jarred at their peak actually often beats that of fresh tomatoes in the fall and winter. Put this on in the morning and then come home and whip up a grilled cheese sandwich for the perfect fall comfort food.
What’s your favorite slow cooker soup recipe? Leave a link to the recipe in the comments, so other teachers can enjoy it too.
Rachel Randolph is a mom to a busy toddler boy and a wife to an even busier high school football and baseball coach. She is co-author ofWe Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, a food memoir written with her mom, and their upcoming book Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night’s Sleep(Zondervan, January 2015). She also blogs at www.TheNourishedMama.com and www.laughcrycook.com.