It’s Crocktober! I love #Crocktober! It means soups and warm meals and fall! Fall is my favorite. This crockpot soup is one of those effortless pots of flavor that is hearty and everything you want in a bowl. And if you want to make a few batches for the freezer, you can just dump and go! It’s also gluten free!
Crockpot soups don’t have to be unsatisfying!
My husband will only have soup as a main course if it is hearty and filling. Therefore, my stock of soup recipes tend to be the thicker, stick-to-your-bones types of soups. When I’m searching the internet for new ideas fitting that parameter, I usually end with only some type of chili option. There are a few with pasta, but we tend to stay away from those. We love pasta but several in my family don’t do well with gluten anymore.
But this soup has a lot of flavor. Flavors that don’t get repetitive once you’re deep into winter, because it breaks from a lot of common crockpot soup flavor profiles.
This can be convenient and all natural if you want it to be!
As far as all natural goes- if you buy all natural sausage (like I do), get beans that have only beans and/or salt as the ingredients or cook your own from dry (like I do), make your own pesto so there aren’t shady ingredients (like I do), and make your own broth (like I do), then you’ll pretty much be on the all natural train!
I realize that sounds like a lot of work, but if you do those things ahead as time as ingredients allow, you’ll have it on hand. For example, I grow basil in masses in the summer and use a lot of it to make and freeze pesto. So I have it on hand and convenient for the soup, but I didn’t take the time to make it specifically on the day I dumped all these ingredients in the crockpot.
As far as convenient goes- If you tend to always have these things on hand (like I do) then it’s like pulling together a pantry meal. If you don’t have these things made, you can still go the convenience route by using a jar of pesto, canned beans, and chicken broth from the store. You can dump them in and save a lot of time.
Side note – Do you ever have one of those moments where you’ve been striving for a goal for a really long time and just realized you’ve gotten further along than you thought you did? I just had that moment typing this section. I’ve worked so hard for so long, gardening, preserving, etc….so that I have the value of high quality food I want and have it in amounts that I can use it in place of store bought, especially my pantry staples. I just realized that I literally used a lot of homegrown and preserved ingredients in this soup. Ingredients that I used to buy and stock up on from the store shelves. I know that’s not everyone’s goal, but it’s mine, so I’m kind of reveling in the feeling of success here for a moment. Ok. Moving on.
A lot of the ingredients are pantry staples!
Chicken broth (or other broth), normal spices, canned beans…these are in most of our pantries. You might even have jars of pesto in yours.
The recipe calls for tomatoes to make a little topping for the soup. Most of the winter I use my canned tomatoes instead of fresh and they work great! And those are another pantry staple!