We are almost a full week and a half into the Autumn season and I don’t know about where you live, but here in Northwestern Pennsylvania it is definitely starting to feel like it. We’ve even had a couple of heavy frost mornings at my house. I am sooo not ready for this. I love the changing colors of the leaves, but I don’t like the dark mornings and the chilly starts to my day, but I do love to cook and eat the foods that the cooler temperatures inspire.

When those chilly fall and winter days, come around, there is nothing like a hearty bowl of soup as the perfect meal to cozy up with in front of a roaring fireplace. What’s even better about soup is you can make just about any type of it in a crockpot with minimal effort. Toss the ingredients in before you leave for work, cook on low throughout the day, and you’ll come home to the most fantastic aroma filling your home and a delicious dinner waiting for you. Honestly, what’s better than that!?

We have the soup staples that we cook with on repeat, and undoubtedly a few family recipes passed down, as well. Today, I wanted to provide you with a few of my straightforward, healthy and delicious crockpot soup ideas that get me through the cold months. 

Here are a few of the soup ingredients that are always on hand in my pantry:

Lentils – Are high in fiber, are 35% protein, which is comparable to red meat, chicken, and fish. Some other nutritious factors are that they contain molybdenum, folate, tryptophan, manganese, iron, phosphorus, copper, vitamin B1 and potassium.

In season vegetables, like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and kale.

Chicken and Vegetable Stock or Broth – Now my stock is always homemade, because it’s just so easy to make. If I have a roast chicken, I take the skin, bones and throw them into a pot of water along with some onions, and garlic.  So sometimes it’s in my pantry and sometimes it’s in my freezer. Just depends on how big of a batch I am making at the time. If I have a lot, I can it instead of freezing.

Quinoa –  Quinoa (pronounced keenwa) is a great staple to have on hand. Although most plants are not complete proteins, quinoa is. It contains all of the amino acids making it a power house of a food, especially for those who don’t eat meat. It has more fiber than brown rice and yellow corn. I use it in soups in place of rice. I also used it in my stuffed peppers in place of the rice. 

Gluten-Free Pasta – I have 2 quart mason jars that I use for not only my different kinds of gluten-free pasta, but also for my other dry good staples. My favorite brand of gluten-free pasta is Tinkyada brand. It is more like glutenous pastas, in that it doesn’t turn to mush. 

I hope that you try some of these staples in your crockpot and soup recipes. Here is one to get you started and it’s the 2nd recipe in my Crocktoberfest. Chicken and Vegetable Stew you can find it here: https://easyglutenfreeliving.com/recipe/slow-cooker-chicken-vegetable-stew/

Right now, I’m running a 30 day recipe challenge called Crocktoberfest over in my Facebook group, Easy Gluten-Free Community. I’m posting one recipe a day that can be made in the crockpot. Join me here: Crocktoberfest