Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

In the Summer I Still Love My Slow Cooker

with 18 comments

While we all marvel at the summer weather before the first day of spring (this is at least my third post on the topic; read more here and here) I am honing my skills at cooking without turning the a/c on. It’s MARCH for crying out loud! I should still be sporting a light jacket with my flip flops, not kicking off the covers and sprawling across the bed while I’m trying to sleep.

I have thrown all the windows open and am refusing to turn the air on. In March. Because that’s wrong.

It’s very nice in here in the morning- I have yet to add a pile of ice cubes to my morning coffee cup- so I have decided that the morning is when I will be cooking dinner. For those that cannot be home to cook in the morning, this can all be done the night before. When it’s hot outside you can still be friends with your crock pot.

I found this recipe for Soupe Au Pistou (translation: a delicious pile of vegetables with a dollop of pesto on top) in the March 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine. Coarsely chop up carrots, gold potatoes (you need a variety that will hold up), onions, and zucchini. You could also add yellow squash or fresh green beans: draw your inspiration from what’s fresh and plentiful when you’re out and about.

Stir in a can of your favorite diced tomatoes,

Season with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper according to your taste and pour in 8 cups of water. Put the lid on and cook on low for 8 hours. Thirty-ish minutes before your soup is done, add one cup of uncooked soup-ey pasta (I used ditalini; I couldn’t find any alphabet or stars) and two 15 ounce cans of white beans.

Asparagus is my favorite spring vegetable. Trimmed and cut into two-inch pieces, if I were using asparagus, I’d add it now (because no one likes asparagus that’s mushy).

Replace the lid and continue slow-cooking for that last thirty minutes until your pasta is tender. Serve with a generous spoonful of pesto on top (you can purchase pesto already prepared or use your favorite recipe). Hot soup, cool house.

Vegetable Pesto Slow Cooker Soup (from Family Circle, March 2012)


4 medium carrots peeled and coarsely chopped

4-5 cups of peeled and chopped boiling potatoes (I used Honey Gold)

2 medium onions, chopped

2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into half-moons

1 can of your favorite diced tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

8 cups of water

2 cans drained and rinsed cannellini beans (really any beans would do)

1 cup of dry soup-ey pasta (I used ditalini)

pesto- prepared or purchased ahead of time and added according to your taste

To Make

Add carrots, potatoes, onions, zucchini (along with any other veggies that hold up in a slow cooker; squash, fresh green beans…) and canned tomatoes to a large slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir until all the veggies are well combined. Pour in 8 cups of water, cover and slow cook for 8 hours on low. About 30 minutes before the soup is done, add in the pasta, beans, and any other “soft” veggies you like– ahem, asparagus. Recover and continue cooking for that last thirty minutes, and serve this veggie soup with a big glop of pesto on top!



Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

March 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

18 Responses

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  1. Very nice!!! I never think of my slow cooker in the summer. This soup looks amazing. Will have to try!

  2. I want to make this! Every vegetable I love is in this soup. And, pistou is just wonderful to finish off a bowl of vegetable soup…how very French of you, my friend!

    And no, I’m not turning on that darn AC either. It’s like Mother Nature and the energy company got together to pull a fast one on us in March. Very suspicious! 🙂

    {Main St. Cuisine}

    March 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

    • I agree. It’s totally suspicious. I can hear Duke Energy counting their billions and have decided I will not contribute (well… not more than I have to anyway). And the soup was delicious! A warning though: It makes alot, so pare it down if you need to. Or just eat the leftovers for lunch all week. Or freeze it!!!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      March 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

  3. I cam see why you love your slow cooker! Sometimes a calming delicious soup like yours is the only way 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

    Choc Chip Uru

    March 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

  4. Yeah for slow cookers! I’m rounding up some recipes, since I just updated my crockpot to a newer model. Another Meatless Monday dish too. Thanks for posting this veggie soup!

    The Foodie Affair

    March 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    • my mom bought me this one for Christmas and I was like “why did I never have one of these before?!” I love it. And use it at least twice a week. Thank you!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  5. hehe.. I recently (about 2 months ago) bought a slow cooker that was on sale for $10 but I really don’t know what to make with it!!! There have been many recipes proposing the usage of slow cookers but I just look at them as think… I can pretty much just fry it all up or bake it and it will be the same anyway… only not as slow…. lol. I guess that wouldn’t work for this recipe though!! and yes, I am aware that I’m missing the whole point of a SLOW cooker.. hehe…


    March 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    • I never really worried about the “slow” part of the cooking. I’m way more productive in the morning than I am at 5 or 6 pm (when my family gets hungry), so it’s nice to be able to fix our meal at 9 or 10 am. And you don’t have to pay attention. Just throw stuff in the pot and walk away! Most recently the slow cooker has relieved the use of the hot stove in my kitchen. Meat falls off the bone, sauces make themselves; it’s like a freaking miracle invention! Find a good excuse to use yours and you will love it! Today I’m rockin buffalo chicken in my crock pot 🙂

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

  6. Yummy…I will try this and thank you…you are right…it is only March…what is it they say about March…it comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb….we are still in the Lion stage here….but hoping…hoping for soft as a gentle Lamb…soon:)

    Hot Rod Cowgirl

    March 21, 2012 at 1:29 am

    • I always thought that referred to the absurdity of the wind in March (which as of late has been decidedly calm) but here’s to hoping you’re right on!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      March 21, 2012 at 7:41 am

  7. Though I rarely used my slow cooker before Farmer D & I got married, now I couldn’t live without it…sure beats using the oven on a hot day.

    And since I LOVE pesto, I will be trying this recipe!

    Real Life Farm Wife

    March 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

  8. Looks delicious. I know how you feel with those hot days. I used to keep the windows cracked at night and shut them before I went to school/work, even closing the blinds and drapes, then when I would get home the temperature would not be so bad. And heaven forbid, cooking or drying clothes in the middle of the day. You are just asking for it then. Then you are down to tank tops and cut offs and the neighbors are looking at you like they might need to call the law on you… Okay, I took that joke a little too far :).


    March 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    • Nope. You’re right on. Tank tops, cut offs, no shoes, hair tied in a mess of curly humidity infused knot on my head, and if I move to step out the door into the scorching sun Chad looks at me like, “you’re going outside in THAT?!” And I just tell him he’s jealous cause he can’t wear cutoffs without looking like a Village People reject.

      That window trick works though- it’s the old reliable anti- a/c 🙂 It’s actually really beautiful here right now- nearly perfect. But I know the crunchy brown grass and water restrictions are coming. And I dread it.

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      March 23, 2012 at 7:11 am

  9. I use my slow cooker year round! Because I’m lazy. I live off soup and salads.


    April 2, 2012 at 11:37 am

    • I am boycotting the air conditioner in March/April. I am also totally fascinated with preparing our evening meal at 10 am. I could survive solely on soup and salad, but my family might revolt. Gotta keep the peace. Thanks for stopping by!

      Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

      April 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

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