Overnight Soup

Overnight crock pot soup is pure genius.  Den Dad and daughter pack up a hot thermos for their lunches, I have dayhome’s lunch ready in the morning, and then we might even get supper out of it another night.  Best of all, the prep gets done in the quiet of the evening kitchen after the kids are in bed and not during some other chaotic part of the day.  I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me before… perhaps because I used to treat lunch as an afterthought, relying heavily on leftovers and snacky foods.  I can no longer get away with that.  It is now the focal point of my day and I can’t be a slouch.

The other night I tossed this into the crock pot:

  • 4 cups of browned, grass-fed beef
  • 2 cups finely diced cabbage
  • one medium minced onion
  • two cloves minced garlic
  • six stalks celery, chopped
  • four large carrots, chopped
  • one cup spinach, chopped
  • one 32 oz. can crushed organic tomatoes
  • two diced bell peppers
  • a little salt and pepper

I turned the pot on low and this morning (about 9 hours later) I woke to simmering, mild goodness that all my toddlers loved.  Den Dad spiced it up a bit, and I enjoyed one bowl with a cool 1/2 avocado diced on top, but it was perfect as-is for the kids.

A week later, I thought I would try it again, this time with a raw start.  So, I threw this into the crock pot the night before:

  • one 3 lb package of frozen, grass-fed ground beef
  • one minced onion
  • two cloves of garlic
  • three stalks of celery, chopped fine
  • half a 32 oz can of organic crushed tomatoes

Then, in the morning I took the potato masher to the contents and turned out a mild, tender meat sauce.  This, I served as taco soup.

I made a “salad” of toppings that included chopped spinach, avocado, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a bit of grated cheese.  A scoop of the meat mixture went into the bottom of each bowl, then everyone got a large scoop of the salad on top.  I allowed the kids to each have a few corn chips to garnish with, but I am sure you could substitute homemade sesame crackers if you are so inclined.  I ate mine with a few jalapeno peppers on top and it was great.

Both soups were both a huge hit with the kids and saved me loads of time!  I will be doing an overnighter again!

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