Crystal Valley Blog

Cozy and Comforting Soups and Stews

POSTED February 26, 2019

We’re all about ease and comfort when it comes to cooking during chilly winter months and the slow cooker and Instant Pot make meal preparation super easy and delicious – an unbeatable combination! Take a look at these yummy winter soups and stews, from cuisine you’d find at a four-start restaurant to the diner kind that sticks to your ribs – and then some!

Supremely Satisfying Soups 

Blogger Karen at 365 Days of Crockpot offers recipes with alterations for the Instant Pot, like her Creamy Potato Hamburger Soup. The secret ingredient might be the cream cheese, added to the ground beef, onion, garlic and vegetables. The result is creamy and dreamy and perfect with a side salad and breadsticks. 

Karen’s Tuscan Tortellini Soup, also for the Instant Pot, is a creamy tomato-based soup with white beans, tortellini, spinach and bites of chicken. She uses fresh cheese tortellini, Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base®, crushed tomatoes – not diced, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. There are a few recipe changes for the slow cooker version, but the results are just as tasty!

Nonnie’s Spaghini Stick-to-Your-Ribs Soup will serve 13 people and uses ground round, chopped cabbage, kidney beans, whole tomatoes and adds angel hair pasta in the last five minutes of simmering. This high-protein, low-fat meal is great for leftovers and perfect for a chilly winter day or night. Eating Well has a version of this soup with a cup of fontina cheese, and a big crusty slice of French bread, front and center!

Unbeatable Chicken Faves

Chicken and dumplings sounds like a vintage recipe, “the one grandma used to make”, and the aromas, texture and taste will conjure up plenty of family nostalgia! With chopped onion and carrots, celery and peas, the spices chef Lauren uses are garlic, thyme and a bay leaf. This recipe from Buns in My Oven uses refrigerated biscuits for the dumplings, little lumps of doughy goodness in a  flavorful broth.

We can’t get enough of hearty, creamy comfort food, like The Recipe Rebel’s slow cooker Garlic, Parmesan Chicken Stew. For a weeknight meal, it’s loaded with veggies – the usual suspects, onions, celery, carrots and potatoes, but blogger Ashley says broccoli or mushrooms are great add-ins, too. With a loaf of crusty French bread (for dipping, don’tcha know?) and garnished with parsley, it’s easy, comforting and savory good.

The Cozy Cook’s Chicken Stew adds bacon and sour cream for a little variation on a theme – equally yummy and easy to slow-cook!

Internet Meal Magic

This recipe went viral last year – home chefs were going crazy for #thestew on Instagram – to the tune of 4,000 results. Created by Alison Roman of New York Times Cooking, the Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric is a stove-top stew, but we had to include it because of all the rave reviews. Alison crisps the chickpeas in olive oil, then simmers in a garlicky coconut milk (full-fat!) for what is basically a healthy stew. With ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes the stew contains Swiss chard, kale or collard greens and mint leaves with a dollop of optional yogurt. 

Also spicy and intensely flavorful are Martha Stewart’s Red Lentil Soup with Crispy Fried Ginger, for an Indian-style soup with strong curry powder seasoning, and her Moroccan Meatball Soup with sweet potato, cinnamon and cilantro.

And finally, if you’re in the mood for slow cooker chili, try Jimmy Fallon’s Chili recipe. Spoiler alert: Jimmy adds the expected chile powder, habanero, garlic, onions, cumin, cayenne and tomatoes, but his secret ingredient? One 12-ounce bottle of amber beer!

Home Chefs Rule in Crystal Valley

The kitchens in the brand new homes in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley are set up for home chefs who like to cook and need all their tools within easy reach. Tour the models and move-in ready homes from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes and D.R. Horton – ranch and two-story designs, priced from the $300s. You’ll find the community, amenities plus nearby shopping, entertainment and recreation, convenient and complete!


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