What’s in the Crock? Magic Black Bean Soup


What makes this soup magical? It can make just about any vegetable just disappear. I love it, partly because it’s tasty, but especially because it calls for ‘vegetables’. Pretty much any vegetable will do. We make it to

  • clean out the crisper
  • use up broccoli & mushroom stems
  • give a home to all that extra zucchini that I thought I would use for 16 different baking projects that I just didn’t get to.

In fact, at any given time we have a couple of soups’ worth of veggies in a ziploc in the freezer, either from fridge clean-outs or the off-cuts of other recipes.

The original recipe is from Stephanie O’Dea’s Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, and is also available on her blog.  But that version called for packets of taco sauce, and I try to avoid the restaurant that sells those :). So here is a version with some pantry-spicing and a couple of other tweaks:

Black Bean Soup

  • 3 cans of black beans (undrained)
  • 1 14oz can of stewed tomatoes (I’ve only ever seen 28oz cans here in Canada – so half a can)
  • 2 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped vegetables
  • 1 chopped apple
  1. Chop & dump everything in the crock.
  2. Cook for 8-10 hours on low.
  3. Soupify with an immersion blender.
  4. Serve with some shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.
I love this soup, but our freezer-stash of veggies still tends to expaaand. Do you have any other “any-veggie” recipes?

What’s in the Crock?


As I walked in the door this evening I paused to inhale deeply – dinner had been simmering gently for 6 hours, filling the house with the aroma of comfort.

I love my crock pot. I love it when walking in the door feels like pulling on my favourite fireside sweater. And I love the idea of ‘dinner’ being just a ladel away.

Today what’s in the crock is comfort food: ham and corn chowder. I found this recipe when looking for ideas to use up the crazy-huge fresh ham we cooked for Easter dinner. For two.

Dearest likes to do this at all the ‘big meal’ holidays, even for just the two of us, and he’s got me hooked. And with recipes like this, who minds leftovers?  Even the year we had a newborn at Christmas, and didn’t even open presents until Boxing Day, he cooked a full turkey dinner. Incidentally, that was the first meal Miss Bea ever slept through – and so the first one I’d eaten hot in 6 weeks – now how’s that for a Christmas present?

But I digress. I do that a lot.

With cubed ham and pre-diced onion in the freezer, this recipe is as ‘dump and go’. The best kind 🙂

Easy Ham and Corn Chowder
from About.com Southern Food


  • 2 cans (about 10 1/2 ounces each) condensed potato soup
  • 1 can (about 10 12 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup
  • 2 cups leftover diced ham
  • 1 cup chopped frozen onion or finely chopped fresh onion
  • 10 to 12 ounces frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup half-ahd-half, light cream, or milk


  1. Combine everything except the milk in the slow cooker insert.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  3. 20 minutes before serving, add milk or cream.

The original recipe suggests you serve with biscuits or cornbread and a tossed salad. Bread fresh from the breadmaker works just as well, and is less effort. Also, I frequently forget the milk until the last minute – I’ve always found 5 minutes is enough.
Serves 4 to 6.

So what’s in your crock? Share your favourite recipes and crock tips in the comments! And if they’re already in your blog, feel free to post a link!