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Nothing says "comforting meal" during the fall and winter like a big bowl of soup. But often soups and stews take about an hour to make from start to finish, and busy weeknights make it hard to fit that in.
Enter the crock pot!! Dumping everything in the crock in the morning and having an easy dinner ready for you is literally a huge life saver - especially when you are having to hustle between school and evenings activities.
I wanted to create an easy tomato basil soup in the crock pot and make it almost effortless. A lot of recipes call for finely chopping your veggies before you add them into the crock pot - but honesty, who has time to do that? The morning hours are crazy enough without having to wake up 30 minutes early so you can finely dice your veggies.
Another method some people recommend is to rough chop things in the morning, and then use a blender before you serve to make your soup as smooth as silk. This sounds awesome in theory, but have you ever tried to blend boiling hot soup? Maybe its just me, but seriously - this is a recipe for disaster. I always make a giant mess, and I always fling soup the temperature of lava all over my clothes, my counters, and the kitchen rug (it used to be white, by the way. It's not anymore). No, thank you!
My easy solution ---- use a food processor!! Using the chop or puree setting to finely dice your onions, celery and carrots into tiny pieces not only cuts down on all that prep work, but it also makes the blending unnecessary. The nice thing about this is you can also make the veggies as finely diced, or pureed, as you want with just a few pushes of a button.
Then right before you eat, make a quick roux to help thicken up your soup and give you a nice consistency - add a few more ingredients and you are ready to eat! Homemade soup with a small amount of work, and the max amount of flavor!