Here are 3 easy ways to spend less time in the kitchen when you’re making soup.
These time savers begin with making your soup in a slow cooker instead of in a Dutch oven on the stovetop. Next, you’ll find time-saving ingredients that offer high nutrition and bountiful flavor.
1. Easy Slow Cooker Prep in 10-20 Minutes
The first of our 3 easy ways to spend less time in the kitchen is by making soup in a slow cooker instead of in a Dutch oven on the stovetop.
With our slow cooker soups, it takes just 10-20 minutes of simple prep in the morning. Then you can come home to a fragrant, warm and welcoming soup that’s ready or almost ready to serve.
Let Your Slow Cooker Do Its Thing While You Do Yours
Using a slow cooker saves you time, because it’s doing its thing while you’re away doing yours. Consequently, there’s no monitoring what’s cooking on the stove.
With slow cooker soup, there’s also no scrambling for a dinner idea when you get home. That’s because it’s already started. And there’s less overindulging on snack food while you wait for dinner to cook.
Making soup in a slow cooker is time saver number one. Following are at least two more ways to spend less time in the kitchen without reducing nutrition or flavor.
2. Frozen Vegetables Save Time, Money, and Retain Nutrients
The second of our 3 easy ways to spend less time in the kitchen is by using frozen vegetables during soup prep.
Frozen vegetables may not be an option for every soup, but when they are, they’ll save you time shopping and prepping. They can also save you money.
Here’s how you can benefit from using frozen vegetables in your soups:
- Save time shopping for fresh vegetables for every meal. Instead of driving to the market, you merely walk to your freezer.
- No wasting fresh vegetables if you don’t use them in time. With frozen vegetables, they’re always at their peak, still firm and colorful.
- Save time washing, peeling, trimming, and cutting into bite-sized pieces.
Nutritional Benefits of Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables are picked ripe from the field then flash frozen to lock in freshness and nutrition.
Fresh vegetables start losing some of their nutritional value as soon as they are harvested. So even though we enjoy the look and feel of fresh vegetables, unless we grow them ourselves, we probably aren’t getting the maximum nutrition that’s available.
In this case, grabbing a bag of something doesn’t mean you’re taking a shortcut that’s unhealthy for you. This time, it’s a means of saving time and still feeling good about the nutritional value.
An Alternative to Chopping Fresh Onions
For one reason or another, you might not enjoy chopping a fresh onion. For example, maybe you don’t like:
- Lingering odor on your hands
- The way chopping onions makes your eyes water
- Spending time grabbing your knife, removing the peel, and transferring the tiny squares to your slow cooker.
Whatever the reason, here’s an option you may want to try.
Did you know chopped onions are available in your freezer section? It might just be the next time-saving shortcut you’ve been looking for.
3. Dried Herbs Save Time and Retain Flavor in the Slow Cooker
Last on our list of 3 easy ways to spend less time in the kitchen is the use of fresh herbs instead of fresh ones.
Fresh herbs are lovely, fragrant, and delicious. But when it comes adding them to your slow cooker recipes, they don’t hold up well during the longer cooking times. That’s why I’m going to talk about using dried herbs as a way to save time in the kitchen.
For Slow Cooking, Using Dried Herbs Isn’t Being Lazy, It’s Being Smart
Here’s another situation in which a shortcut is not a lazy way out. Instead, using dried herbs is a way to retain more flavor in your slow cooker soups.
And unless you grow your own herbs, then buying dried herbs can also save you time and money. That’s because a trip to the grocery store is required to buy fresh ones and even then, they must be used in a timely manner. Whereas dried herbs can remain easily accessible in your cabinet and retain their flavor for about six months.
Or You Can Add Fresh Herbs During the Last 60 Minutes of Cooking
It’s not a time saver, but you can still use fresh herbs in your slow cooker, just add them during the last 60 minutes so their flavor doesn’t diminish during the long cooking.
One thing that doesn’t change is that fresh herbs remain a perfect and overwhelming favorite for garnishing your soups with flavor and beauty.
Saving a Few Minutes in the Kitchen Means Less Stress
Saving a few minutes in the kitchen and in the market just makes life a little easier.
Plus, finishing your soup prep a little faster can mean you’re on your way to your next adventure a little sooner.
- Making your soup in a slow cooker saves time and stress because after 10-20 minutes of simple prep in the morning, your soup is ready or almost ready to serve when you get home. When you get home after a busy day, your slow cooker has done the cooking for you.
- Using frozen instead of fresh vegetables saves time shopping and prepping as you only need to walk to your freezer for what you need. The frozen vegetables are nutrient-rich, washed, peeled, trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- It’s faster to measure out dried herbs than shop, wash, and chop fresh herbs. But dried herbs also retain better flavor than fresh ones during the longer periods of cooking in the slow cooker.
Soup brings so much happiness to your table, and these three tips can make it a little easier to get it there. Enjoy!