Bowls of comfort

Hearty and healthy, these slow-cooked soups are easy to make, loaded with veggies and packed with flavor. For less-fuss weeknight dinners, prepare these crockpot recipes at the start of your day and come home to a steaming meal your family will love!

Creamy Tomato Soup

Makes about 9 1/4 cups

• 1 Tbs olive oil
• 1 cup finely diced celery
• 1 cup finely diced carrots
• 1 cup finely diced onions
• 1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
• 1 tsp thyme
• 1/4 cup fresh basil
• 3 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable)
• Parmesan or Romano cheese rind (optional)
• 1 bay leaf
• 2 Tbs unsalted butter
• 2 Tbs flour
• 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
• 1 3/4 cups reduced fat (2%) milk, warmed
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oil, celery, carrots and onions; cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden. Add to slow cooker.

Pour the juice of the tomatoes into the slow cooker, then roughly crush the tomatoes with your hands; add to slow cooker. Then add chicken (or vegetable broth), the cheese rind (if using), thyme, basil, and bay leaf.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, until the vegetables get soft and the flavors blend. Remove the cheese rind and, using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth (or you can carefully do this in small batches in the blender).

Melt the butter over low heat in a large skillet and add the flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the hot soup, then add the 1 3/4 cups of warmed milk and stir until smooth. Pour back into the slow cooker and stir, add the grated Pecorino cheese and adjust salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook on low 30 more minutes.

NOTE: This soup freezes well, so don’t worry if this makes too much. Freeze it in small containers for quick meals on busy weeknights.

Check out the original recipe at

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

Servings: 10

• 5 medium russet potatoes
• 4 medium carrots
• 4 stalks celery
• 2 cups broccoli, florets
• 1 medium onion
• 6 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
• 4 Tbs butter, unsalted
• 1/2 cup flour, all-purpose
• 3 Tbs yellow mustard
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
• 2 cups milk
• 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Chop all vegetables: potatoes, carrots and celery (about 2 cups each), broccoli (or a combination of broccoli and cauliflower), and onion.

Place chopped vegetables and chicken broth into crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until vegetables are soft.

About 30 minutes before serving, prepare sauce: Melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour, mustard, salt and pepper; stir until combined. Slowly stir in milk and cook on medium heat until thickened.

Add sauce to crockpot along with cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and fully combined.

Recipe courtesy of

Hearty Beef Stew

Servings: 6

• 1 1/2 lbs beef for stew, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 Tbs vegetable oil
• 3 cups medium white potato, cut into cubes (about 1 lb)
• 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
• 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 1/4 cups Swanson Beef Broth or Beef Stock
• 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup thawed frozen peas

Season the beef with black pepper. Coat the beef with 2 tablespoons flour. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef in 2 batches and cook until it’s well browned, stirring often.

Place the potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic into a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with the beef. Add 3 cups broth, Worcestershire, thyme and bay leaf.

Cover and cook on low for 10 to 11 hours* or until the beef is fork-tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Stir the remaining flour and broth in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Stir the flour mixture and peas in the cooker. Increase the heat to high. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens.

*Time-Saving: Or you may cook this recipe on high for 5 to 6 hours.