Just to start off, I own 2 crock pots. A 4qt and a 6qt. Some recipes do well in a 4 qt cooker but sometimes you want to cook a huge meal like vegetarian paella or curried cauliflower soup with chutney and cashews.
I am starting my crock pot cooking now that the weather is supposed to get warmer and we are supposed to spend more time in the park or the pool. Supposed to. Yes. Here in sunny California it will be cloudy, rainy and cold like touching 65 degrees this week.
My first meal out of the crock pot was an easy black bean soup. It was so yummy with tandoori naan.
It takes 2 days to make it but it is so worth it.
Take 1 lb dried beans soak them in enough water to cover plus an inch or two for a 8 hours. I did this in the morning.
drain the beans and replace them in a 6 quart slow cooker. Add 1 large yellow onion cut into quarters, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 2 bay leaves. Cover and cook for 8-12 hours. This was done overnight. Try not to gnaw your arm because your home will smell like someone is slaving in the kitchen. That is the crock pot!
Now the fun part!
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-size chopped yellow onion
1 medium-size chopped carrot
1/2 seeded and minced green bell pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
3 cups slow cooked or 2 15 oz cans black beans drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes undrained
4 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
add the onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic.
cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
transfer the cooked vegetables to a 4 quart slow cooker, add the beans, tomatoes, and their juice, stock, bay leaves, cumin, thyme, and cayenne.
Season with salt and black pepper.
stir to combine.
cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
remove and discard the bay leaf and taste to adjust the seasonings to your taste.
just before serving, stir in the lemon juice.
puree 2 cups of the soup solids in a food processor or blender and return to the cooker.
The recipe is straight out of the Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson
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