Tomato and Asparagus Soup with White Beans

This is a tangy and rich soup that will use up some of those tomatoes you canned. You can make it vegan by using veggie stock. It’s an easy soup to whip up from common pantry items.

28 oz canned tomatoes, diced or crushed
28 oz stock, veggie or chicken
1/2 cup red wine
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 TB olive oil
1 1/2 C cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces

Place all the ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes until veggies are tender and beans are flavored with broth. Serve as is or sprinkle on some cheese!

Crock Pot Beef Provencial

Here is a SUPER SIMPLE SUPPER for my sister, a med student with no time! I sent this recipe to her undergrad uni’s cafeteria, and they loved it. Here’s a crock-pot version for people with no time to cook, med students and moms alike.

Start with a fresh cut of beef that’s ideal for your crock pot: chuck, brisket, round, and rump roasts are most common. A large family sized (6 qt) crock pot can usually hold a 2 lb roast. Look for good marbling and not a lot of thick fat. When you remove a good roast from the package it should feel “good” to squeeze, not too hard or to squishy. A squishy roast will fall apart quickly. A hard roast will end up dry. Rinse the roast under cool water.  Shake off water and place in crock. Drizzle a little EVOO and rub in to coat. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and rub in.

Now toss in:

1/2 lb red potatoes, washed well and halved

1/2 lb baby carrots (so you don’t have to clean or peel them)

2 leeks washed very very well to remove sand. Cut leeks in half long ways and rinse thoroughly. Cut in 2 inch chunks.

2, 12 oz cans diced tomatoes. The Muir Glen garlic fire roasted tomatoes are very flavorful.

1/4 Cup red wine or red wine vinegar

1/4 Cup herbs de Provence

2 Cups low-sodium or home made beef stock as needed

I make sure there are some tomato and other veggie bits UNDER the roast to make sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the crock. Pour the beef stock in last. The roast should just peek out the top of the liquid by an inch or two. Depending on the shape and size of all the food and crock pot, some may need a little more or a little less.

This will cook on medium in about 6 hours. If you’ll be out of the house for more than 7 hours, cook on low.

If you wish to thicken the cooking liquid into a hearty gravy, remove the roast and veggies. In a small bowl add 3 TB corn starch to 1/4 Cup cold water. Whisk to dissolve starch. Whisk starch mixture into hot crock of cooking liquid. Mixture will thicken up rapidly.

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