Okay, so you’ve got a slow cooker recipe you really want to try out, but it says it’s going to take 6-10 hours. Assuming you want your lunch at around 1pm, and we choose the in between time of eight hours, this means that you’ll have to start it off at 5am.
I don’t know about you but a) I’m not usually (um, let’s make that ever) up at 5am; and b) if I was, I wouldn’t want to faff about getting soup ingredients ready.
The Meat Eater came to my rescue by suggesting I use the plug timer thing – it’s a plug that you plug your appliance plug into and you set it for whatever time you want your appliance to come on. Sorted. Sort of. That sounded fine in theory, but that meant getting all the ingredients ready and leaving them in the slow cooker for about seven hours until the timer came on and switched on the slow cooker. I didn’t want to leave vegetables hanging around that long but then I remembered that I didn’t think twice about leaving milk, cheese and butter in the bread maker overnight, so sod it, that’s what I did.
The timer came on at the right time, and my soup was ready for me at lunchtime. I thought the onions and artichokes would disintegrate after being cooked for eight hours, but the onions still had a bit of crunch and the artichokes kept their shape and were beautifully tender.
This recipe is taken from Slow Cooking for Vegetarians. The original recipe says you should fry the onion and garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil before transferring to the slow cooker, but I didn’t bother with that and just put everything in the slow cooker together without cooking first.
A light and super-healthy soup, bursting with flavour and texture.
Butter bean, tomato and artichoke soup (serves 4)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
400g tin chopped tomatoes
425g tin butter beans
425g tin artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1tsp dried thyme
900ml vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker
Cook on Low for 6-10 hours until all the ingredients are tender
Adjust the seasoning to taste