Soups and stews are a favorite meal to cook at my house. When the cold weather comes I like to make plenty of soups and stews in a Crockpot and freeze them for when I don’t feel like cooking. I use a 2 quart slow cooker, but a larger size such as a 6 or 7 quart would be best to use if you want to stretch your meals.
The slow cooker is perfect for chili, potato soup, chicken and beef stews or vegetable soup. Once you have cooked your soup to perfection then you can grab some 1 cup serving microwave safe containers and fill the containers to put in your freezer. For a quick-lunch, all you need is to take the container and microwave them to have homemade soup that is already done for you. Here is a favorite beef stew recipe you can try in your Crockpot.
1 lb beef stew cubes
4 to 5 potatoes
2 to 3 celery stalks
3 to 4 carrots
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp browning sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp cornstarch to 1 part water
6 cups water
If you are using a larger size Crockpot double the ingredients to freeze for future use. Rinse your meat and vegetables. Cut up the onion, celery and carrots into 1 inch pieces. I like my stew thick and chunky with lots of vegetables. The beef stew cubes are already cut unless you want to make them smaller if you have small children, but the slow cooker will make the beef tender. Add the meat and cut vegetables to the Crockpot. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks; add to the slow cooker. Add 6 cups water to the Crockpot or enough water to cover ingredients. Add in Worcestershire sauce and sometimes I add in browning sauce to give a richer color but not necessary. Add in the thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Turn the Crockpot on low and cook for several hours. Once the liquid in the slow cooker has gotten hot, I then add 1 Tbsp water to 1 Tbsp cornstarch to the hot broth. Let the ingredients cook on low for about 6 hours or until the beef chunks are nice and tender. I make this same recipe, but instead of using beef stew chunks, I use pot roast and let it slow cook until the meat falls apart. I serve it spooned over buttered cornbread.