The Value Of A Well Stocked Kitchen

Did you know if you have a well stocked pantry and freezer, you can throw together all kinds of great meals in no time at all? All it takes is a little imagination and some key ingredients. This Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup is one of those recipes. I cook like this a lot. I try to keep certain items on hand so that I can be spontaneous with our meals on those days when I want something different than what I’ve planned.

Number one is to make sure your pantry is stocked well. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to stock the pantry if you add to it a little each time you shop. There are just a few really important items you should always have on hand. When you have those and a freezer stocked up with meat, you end up with a limitless supply of meals you can come up with on the fly.

Pantry Essentials (a short list)

A few of the items you need for your pantry are:

  • Canned tomatoes-stewed, sauce, paste, Rotel
  • Broth and/or stock: Chicken, Beef and Vegetable and Beef Consomme (Campbells)
  • Canned vegetables (or frozen)
  • Pasta
  • Canned Campbells soups: Cream of chicken, mushroom, cheddar cheese or you can make your own. See this post by Lauren at Tastes Better From Scratch for a great recipe to make your own creamed soups. For a dry version of condensed soups, you can try DIY Homemade Cream Of Anything Soup by Melanie at Fresh Start Nutrition.
  • Canned meat: Tuna, Salmon, Chicken
  • Dried beans
  • Flour, Sugar
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal

Back To The Soup

This Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup started with a frozen piece of Rib Roast that was left over from Christmas. Just a little note on this.  You can use any type of beef from soup bones (super inexpensive), to stew meat, to leftover roast or steak. I save all left overs in the freezer, so I can pull them out anytime to make a stew or soup.

I sauteed the roast with a chopped onion, garlic and celery and then added some water. Next you’ll want to add some beef stock and a can of tomato sauce (or you could use stewed or diced tomatoes). Also included is a can of green beans, large chunks of potatoes and a bag of fresh frozen corn we had from last summer. Slow Cooked it for 6 hours in your favorite kitchen appliance. My favorite is the Instant Pot.

I did season it a bit at the end, as it needed some salt and pepper, but I think that should always be done last, because everyone has different tastes when it comes to seasoning.

I hope you will enjoy this inexpensive, healthy family meal!

Melissa

 

Instant Pot Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2-1 pound of beef (this could be left over roast, steak or even fresh stew meat or soup bones)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce (you can also use stewed or diced tomatoes if that's what you have)
  • 3-4 peeled potatoes cut into large chunks
  • 8-16 ounces frozen or fresh vegetables of your choice (carrots, green beans, squash, corn, lima beans, peas, broccoli, cauliflower-really whatever you want)
  • 32 ounces Beef broth, beef consommé or stock or vegetable broth
  • 32 ounces Water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Sauté the beef with the chopped onion, garlic and celery until the vegetables are soft and the meat is browned on all sides.
  2. Add the water, broth and a can of tomato sauce (or stewed or diced tomatoes) and the vegetables.
  3. Turn the Instant Pot to the Slow Cooker function and let it cook for 6-8 hours on low.
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