THE VEGETARIAN SLOW COOKER: Over 200 Delicious Recipes
by Judith Finlayson
Robert Rose Inc.
32 color photos
Contact: Trina Kaye
THE VEGETARIAN SLOW COOKER makes fabulously delicious and healthful meals possible for those of us with little time on our hands. A wide range of recipes, from updated classics to exotic dishes from around the world, provide enough variety to have you using your slow cooker all year long. You will quickly become a slow-cooker convert with recipes like Smoky Tomato Soup with Cheesy Crostini and Onion-Braised Potatoes with Spinach. Judith Finlayson has even included slow-cooker recipes for breakfast, like Irish Oatmeal, and dessert, Double Chocolate Mousse Cake and Sticky Toffee Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce.
About the Author
Judith Finlayson believes strongly that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures. As a food-writer and journalist, Judith has spent much of her life seeking out memorable food experiences. Her other best-selling cookbooks include The Healthy Slow Cooker, 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics, The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook, and Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker. She lives with her husband and daughter in Toronto. Find out more about Judith by visiting her website, www.judithfinlayson.com.
Smoky Tomato Soup with Cheesy Crostini
This is a simple tomato soup with attitude. The smoked paprika adds interesting complexity, and the wonderfully unctuous melted Fontina completes the transformation by adding a lusciously creamy finish. I served this to a friend who doesn’t like tomato soup and it made her a convert.
1 tablespoon (15 mL ) olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL ) cracked black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground allspice
1 can (28 ounces/796 mL) diced tomatoes with juice
5 cups (1.25 L) vegetable broth
1/4 cup (50 mL) heavy or whipping (35%) cream or soy creamer, divided
2 teaspoons (10 mL) smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
12 slices baguette
Thinly sliced Fontina or vegan melting cheese alternative
Finely chopped fresh parsley or snipped chives
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, peppercorns and allspice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
Stir in broth. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours. Purée using an immersion blender. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, do this in a stand blender or food processor, in batches, and return to stoneware.)
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons (25 mL) of the cream and smoked paprika. Mix until blended. Add remaining cream and stir well. Add to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 10 minutes to meld flavors.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast under broiler, turning once. Lay cheese slices over top of each and broil until melted. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and float 2 crostini on each serving. Garnish with parsley.
Toasting fennel seeds intensifies their flavor. Stir seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mortar or spice grinder and grind finely.
Before removing the core of the fennel bulb, chop off the top shoots (which resemble celery) and discard. If desired, save the feathery green fronds to use as a garnish. If the outer sections of the bulb seem old and dry, peel them with a vegetable peeler before using.
Whether you use salt, and the quantity you use, will depend on the sodium content of your broth. Prepared versions are generally much higher in sodium than those that are homemade.
For a slightly different tomato flavor, substitute 2 cans (14 ounces/398 mL) fire-roasted tomatoes with juice for the crushed tomatoes.
If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (approximately 2 quart) slow cooker.
Rolled oats, often called porridge when cooked, are the most popular hot cereal in North America. Less toothsome than steel-cut oats, these are whole oat kernels that have been softened by steaming then rolled. Although rolled oats are very tasty, my favorite oat cereal is steel-cut oats, which are often sold under the name “Irish Oatmeal.” They have more flavor than rolled oats and an appealingly crunchy texture.
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup (250 mL ) steel-cut oats
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
4 cups (2 mL ) water
Raisins, chopped bananas or pitted dates,
Maple syrup, honey or raw cane sugar,
Toasted nuts and seeds
Milk or non-dairy alternative
In prepared slow cooker stoneware, combine oats, salt and water. Stir well. Place a clean tea towel, folded in half (so you will have two layers), over top of stoneware to absorb moisture. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or overnight or on High for 4 hours. Stir well. Serve with raisins, maple syrup, nuts and milk or non-dairy alternative, if using.
Using your slow cooker makes it quite convenient to prepare long-cooking whole grains such as steel-cut oats and whole barley. Cook a big batch overnight on Sundays, cover and refrigerate any leftovers. You can enjoy them throughout much of the week. When you’re ready to serve, add a little water and cover. Reheat on the stovetop or in a microwave oven.
If you’re halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (1-1/2 to 2 quart) slow cooker.
These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipes from THE VEGETARIAN SLOW COOKER: Over 200 Delicious Recipes by Judith Finlayson
(Robert Rose Inc.; February 2010; $24.95/paperback)