Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tomato soup with Israeli couscous

I'll admit you can't really expect culinary greatness from a Crockpot. But on a rainy day, when you don't feel like cooking, this is a great way to get a good, hot meal on the table using standard pantry ingredients.

Saute one chopped onion and a few minced cloves of garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Add that to the Crockpot, along with three cans of tomatoes, a couple of bay leaves, a couple cups of chicken or vegetable broth, and a handful of the grain or pasta of your choice. I used Israeli couscous (that's the big kind), but you could use rice, regular couscous, pasta, barley, you name it. Set on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for around 4 hours.

The couscous/pasta/rice/whatever will soak up all the liquid, so add more about halfway through the cooking process (if you like a soupy soup) or leave it alone for more of a stew. Season to taste when it's done--I added salt and pepper and fresh rosemary, parsley and oregano.

Cost: three cans of tomatoes in bulk run about 50 cents each. Add another 50 cents for the onion and the couscous. $2.00 for 4-6 adult servings.

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