As soon as the temperature starts to drop, I want to pull out my sweatshirts, cuddle up on the couch, and make some of my favorite soups. This past summer has been so hot in Georgia, I was practically throwing a party when the cooler temperatures started to roll in. Quickly, I began scrolling through the archives for my favorite soup recipes! I have a couple go-to’s that I wanted to share – and they are Crockpot recipes, which makes them even better. Happy (almost, I think it’s official now) Fall!
Crockpot White Chicken Chili
First… This is one of my all-time favorite recipes (not just soups)! I know that I can rely on this recipe to turn out delicious and it is a crowd favorite. Pro tip, if you are participating in any “Chili Cookoff’s”, this recipe is always at the top of the rankings when I’ve made it.
I always start with this recipe from the Chunky Chef. I will also say… This recipe is pretty affordable! Most of the ingredients are either spices you probably have in your pantry or canned goods. Here are a couple tips from me:
- This recipe calls for an entire onion. I do love onions, but I usually only put 1/2 to 3/4 of a medium/large sized onion in. I just get nervous the onion is going to overpower the rest of the ingredients.
- Almost every time I make this, I realize at the last minute that I’m out of one of the spices it calls for. This time, I realized I didn’t have chili powder; however, I replaced it with a dash of hot sauce and it turned out perfect.
- I typically like to put the ingredients in my Crockpot in the morning and let it run on low for 8 hours or so. This time I was in a bit of a pinch and ran my Crockpot on high for 3 hours. It turned out perfectly and just as good as the times I’ve run it on low! Just make sure to temperature test your chicken to know if it’s done.
- One last thing… I don’t love the flavor of diced green chiles. I typically only put 1 can in, and it subdues the flavor a bit. The recipes refers to adding a “mild” flavored can and a “hot” flavored can; however, I’ve never been able to find “hot” in my grocery store.
Crockpot Beef Stew
When I was growing up, snow days in Georgia were rare! I have very fond memories of watching the news and celebrating when I saw my county scroll across the ticker as being “closed” for the next day. My brother and I would meet our neighbors outside after putting on what felt like every article of clothing we owned for a day full of sledding, snow angels, and snow ball fights. However, nothing would beat coming in from a long day in the cold to the smell of my Mom’s Crockpot Beef Stew cooking in the Crockpot – nothing warms your soul like this soup does. Now I know we are a little early on Winter starting, but this recipe is delicious for any season!
Here is a great recipe to start with from Allrecipes. Here are a couple notes from me:
- Your beef will turn out softer if you brown it first before putting it in the Crockpot. What this looks like is… coating your beef stew meat (believe it or not, this is what it is called in the grocery store!) in flour and tossing it in a frying pan until the edges of each piece turn brown. You want to make sure to cook the outside while leaving the inside uncooked. It is a little bit of a pain to do this, but is extremely worth it in the end!
- Unlike the last recipe, this recipe is best cooked in the Crockpot on low for as long as possible. There is no rushing this one to make sure your meat and veggies are nice and soft.
- You can go a little crazy with the vegetables here! Feel free to add whatever you have in your pantry/ whatever you like. My favorites are what is listed in this recipe – potatoes, carrots, celery and onions. I really like cutting them in “chunky” pieces (instead of dicing them) so that the stew has some “beef” to it (no pun intended). The only thing is… the chunkier you cut them, the longer they need to stay in the Crockpot to get nice and soft. Just be patient and it will be worth it!
- DON’T OPEN THE LID! If you’re like me… Around lunchtime, you start smelling your yummy stew cooking and you’re hungry. Fight the temptation to open the lid! As I’ve said, the more patient you are to “just leave it”, the better your stew will be.
- Growing up, my mom would always buy a nice loaf of french bread from the bakery when we were having this stew for dinner. Once you finally do open the lid, the stew is extremely hot, even after you serve it up in bowls. It’s nice to have a little bit of bread to dunk in the broth while you’re waiting for it to cool.
Hope you enjoy these as much as I do.