Category Archives: Soup


I am so excited right now – I don’t know if it is from the mug of coffee I just finished or because I have found so many amazing recipes for Thanksgiving that I just can’t wait to share! Every year my parents host Thanksgiving. About 8 years ago I asked if I could help cook. This was around the same time I became very interested in nutrition, so my ulterior motive was to turn our traditional WI thanksgiving into a more wholesome, healthful, and nutritious meal.  Thankfully that first successful year has turned into tradition of homemade pies, fresh vegetables, and made-from-scratch cranberry sauce.

Each year I search for new recipes to try. In the last few weeks I have found dozens of fall dishes that I can’t wait to try (but will likely have to with this thing called medical school in my way). Here are some of the favorites I have found so far. As I make them, I will post the recipes with notes about how they were.








Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili by A Year of Slow Cooking


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and in 2-inch chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (not pictured. If you don’t have any in the house, use water)


  1. Use a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Peel and chunk the sweet potato and add to the pot. Add diced onion. Follow with the red bell pepper, can of tomatoes, the beans, garlic, and seasonings. Pour in OJ and water.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the onion is translucent and the sweet potato is fork-tender (if you want the sweet potato to get really squishy and disappear when stirred, cook longer).

21 Ingredient Chili Recipe

21 Ingredient Chili Slow Cooker Recipe by A Year of Slow Cooking


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut in 1-inch chunks)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes (whole can)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 cups chicken broth


  1. Use a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom of your cooker; frozen is okay, but cut it into chunks. Add the diced onion, canned beans, tomatoes, chiles, corn, and grated sweet potato. Now add the mustard, honey, and dried spices. Carefully stir well to distribute spices the best you can. Pour in the chicken broth.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until chicken easily shreds with two large forks. Stir very well and serve in a large bowl with your favorite chili toppings.

Sausage and Lentil Stew and Cornbread

Sausage and Lentil Stew by A Year of Slow Cooking
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) package smoked or spicy chicken or turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 9 ounces fresh spinach
The Directions.
  1. Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Rinse your lentils under cold water, and place them into an empty slow cooker. Add beef broth, and sliced sausage. Add the entire can of tomatoes and a cup of chopped carrots. The broth and the seasoning from the sausage is enough to flavor this dish– there is no need for additional spices.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, then stir in fresh spinach.
  3. Cover again and let the spinach soften for about 15 minutes.
  4. Serve in a shallow bowl with cornbread.

Cornbread by


  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, soda and salt. Stir in yogurt and eggs. Do not over mix, stir only until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until center of the bread springs back when gently pressed.
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Crock Pot, Meat, Soup


Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Here is another recipes from The Kitchen Sink Recipes blog. I made this back in the dead of a Wisconsin winter when there was a few inches of snow on the ground and the wind was bitter cold. I substituted spinach for the kale in the original recipe because there was no kale at the local grocery store we went to. Jason loves soup in the winter and this is hands-down, Jason’s favorite. The spice from the sausage penetrates the soup and is calmed by the sweetness of the sweet potato.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound bulk spicy turkey Italian sausage (I used Jennie-O hot sausages)
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  2. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble.
  3. Add potato, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) and beans; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Vegetable and Bean Soup

I have never met someone who loves soup more than Jason. The year before we were married and he was living with some friend in Oshkosh, WI, he would bring soup for lunch every single day. While I enjoy soup, I usually only like to have one bowl a week. Since we have been married, we have stopped buy canned soup (unless it is the low-sodium version and is on sale for $1 per can). Instead, once the first chill of fall comes I start up the crock pot and begin making batch after batch of soup and chili. One crock pot usually makes 4 large yogurt containers worth of soup (we eat a lot of yogurt, so we save the containers). I will keep two in the refrigerator and two in the freezer for later. Soup is fool-proof and works well with pretty much any items we have on hand. I try to always use fresh ingredients, but this is not always possible, so I usually keep extra cans of diced tomatoes, beans, and frozen vegetables on hand. If you use dry beans, be sure to soak them overnight before using them. This well help get some of the gas out and prepare them for cooking. Since the weather finally seems to be turning around (55F and sunny today!) I decided it was a good day for one last batch of soup. Soup can really be anything you want, so if you don’t have or like some of these ingredients, feel free to substitute something else.

Vegetable and Bean Soup
Makes about 1 gallon of soup

  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes (I used an onion and green pepper seasoning and garlic, oregano and basil seasoning)
  • 2 cans of water (use the tomato cans)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed well 
  • 1 can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed well 
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  •  1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin


Place all of the ingredients in a 4-5 quart crock pot. Stir well. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 5 hours. If you use dry beans, you may need to cook it longer. 


White Bean Chili

Although it is not officially winter yet, it sure feels like it! Today it has been in the teens all day with the windchill feels like the single digits. Jason and I love eating soup and chili when it is cold like this. I usually never buy canned soup because it is so easy to make in the crock pot. I wanted to try something new, so after skimming some white bean chili recipes online, I came up with my own simple version. It turned out great, especially for a first try!


  • 2 cans of Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (I used water with a powder broth)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBSP of sweet chili sauce (recipe can be found at Sweet and Spicy (American) Chinese)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed


Combine all ingredients in a 3-4 serving crock pot. Stir well. Cook on high for 5 hours, stirring occasionally.

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Posted by on December 12, 2008 in Beans, Chicken, Soup


Turkey Chili

Jason loves this recipe and it is extremely easy to make.


  • 10oz of ground turkey, browned
  • 15oz can of kidney beans or 1 cup dried beans, soaked
  • 24oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup whole wheat elbow noodles, not cooked*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup spaghetti cause or tomato sauce


  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a 3-4 serving crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent the side from burning.

*It is okay to put the uncooked noodles in directly because the water and heat will cook them. If you do not like mushy noodles, add them when there is 2 hours left.

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Posted by on November 20, 2008 in Favorites, Meat, Soup


Vegetable Soup

Soup is another crock pot favorite. It is one of the easiest things to make, so I rarely ever buy canned soup.

It is really whatever you want and can fit in your crock pot! Here is what I used:
-1 24-oz can of diced tomatoes
-1 15oz can of black bean
-1 15oz can of white beans
-1 yellow onion, diced
-3 large carrots, chopped
-1 large zucchini
-1 cup of frozen green beans, unthawed
-4 tsp vegetable bouillon cub powder
-1 cup of water (plus more if you think it needs it)

Place all of the ingredients, except the last two, in a 5-6 serving crock pot. Mix the bouillon cube powder with the water until the clumps are gone. Pour over the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 5-8 hours.