florafloraflora (florafloraflora ) wrote in vegancooking ,

Slow-cooker recipes: Split Pea and Parsnip Soup, Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili

Here is a phenomenal slow-cooker soup that got me through the winter. This is a good soup for omnivores or new vegans. It tastes smoky and substantial without bacon or even the Liquid Smoke flavoring (which sounds awful but is actually relatively harmless; I just couldn't be bothered). In the slow cooker the split peas go to a range of textures. Some dissolve completely and others stay chewy like bacon bits.

SPLIT PEA AND PARSNIP SOUP

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into thin half-moons
1 pound green split peas, picked over and rinsed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups vegetable stock (I used Rapunzel)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (optional--I didn't use it)

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion and parsnips, and cook until onion is translucent.
2. Transfer the vegetables to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker and add the peas, thyme, bay leaf, and stock. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours, stirring once during the cooking process if possible.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add Liquid Smoke if using, and remove bay leaf. Serve hot. Freezes and reheats well.

This recipe came from a book I got from a friend, Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. Most of the recipes are vegan, as dairy products don't lend themselves well to slow-cooking. Here's another tasty recipe from the same book:

CHIPOTLE SWEET POTATO CHILI

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder, or more to taste
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups cooked red beans, kidney or other
1 1/2 cups water
Salt
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotles in adobo, or more to taste (I used a total of two chiles, probably about 3 tablespoons, but my chili powder was really mild)

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent. Stir in the chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat with the spices.
2. Transfer the mixture to a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, beans, and water. Season with salt, cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.
3. When ready to serve, stir the chipotles into the chili. Taste to adjust seasonings.

Note: until I added the chipotle this was awfully sweet and vegetabley for my taste. The heat and smokiness of the chipotle balanced out the flavor nicely. Next time I might use a little less of the sweet potatoes (1 pound) and more of the beans (2 cups).
Tags: -appliances-crockpot, beans(uncategorized), main dishes-chili, soups-pea, vegetables-parsnips, vegetables-sweet potatoes/yams
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