Marie Callender’s Winter Warm Up
This winter is a busy season for our family! All three kids are in part time school, partial home school, all have after school activities, Harry and I work, and our fixer upper projects just won’t quit! We feel like we are running around all the time! Some days we are so tired and with the weather so chilly we just really need some cozy comfort food to warm us up.
My kids have been learning about Colonial times and are kind of fixated on all things ‘olden days’. Just a couple weeks ago we were talking about how in Colonial times they often ate chicken pot pies and soup for dinner and the kids FLIPPED OUT! It didn’t occur to me until then that I had never made pot pies for them, or at least not recently enough that they remembered. We talked about pot pies easily for an hour or more. Warm, homemade flaky crust with meat and veggies inside? This was a heavenly concept to two eight year olds on a chilly home school day. We talked about how they made them, how we could maybe make them someday but that they can take a long time. They were SO excited to hear that one of our modern advances in America is that you can now easily purchase premade frozen pot pies at the store.
On our weekly trip to Walmart we found Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pies (as well as several other varieties) right on the end cap in the frozen food section. The son literally squealed “Mom! Look! Pot Pies!” No exaggeration. I knew the following day would be busy so I thrilled them to no end when I said “Gather up four, we are having pot pies and homemade soup tomorrow!”
Now, nothing is cozier than a chicken pot pie and a bowl of soup and it kinda goes along with our Colonial studies. Pot pies are rich so I wanted a cozy but fairly light soup. We have always loved making Crock Pot Tomato Soup – today I made it even lighter.
On a busy, chilly day it is so nice to have the crock pot doing all the work for me. When we walk in the house after a long day we can smell the sweet aroma and it is so inviting!
Here is a simple and healthy Slow Cooker Tomato Soup that I make at least once a month during chilly months. I make an entire crock pot full. It keeps well for a couple days in the fridge and reheats very well. *My son wants me to make it clear to you that I am cheating by using a Crock Pot instead of making in a giant pot over the fireplace like a true Colonial woman. I hope that is OK with all of you.*
Slow Cooker Tomato Soup is the perfect compliment to Chicken Pot Pies!
- 2 cans of low sodium vegetable broth (or make your own veggie broth in the slow cooker like I do!)
- One large can crushed tomatoes (I like one that has basil and oregano in the mix)
- One small can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 an onion – rough chopped.
- A few cloves of fresh garlic minced (however much you like, we do about 3 cloves)
- Two whole carrots – just rough chopped
- 1/2 a stick of butter – real butter, not junk (it’s not that much for the whole pot of soup!)
- 3 cups milk (I use organic 2%)
- a small bunch of fresh oregano (we grow this in our home garden and it really makes it)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Put all items EXCEPT MILK in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low.
At the last half hour warm milk either on the stove or in the microwave.
Once the milk is warm slowly poor it into the slow cooker and wisk in. If the milk is cold it will curdle and that will make you sad. Make sure to warm it before adding. Let everything warm together for about a half hour.
If you enjoy chunky veggie soup you can simply ladle into a bowl as is. I personally like to take one more step and put everything into our Vitamix to puree. If you have an immersion blender that would be a pretty awesome tool for this step as well.
It takes like 5 seconds. If you have a different blender it make take a few more seconds but it shouldn’t take long to puree.
Our delicious soup was cooking while we were out and about all day, but the Marie Callendar’s chicken pot pies did take a tiny bit of prep time when we got home. My son was especially excited to get them ready!
My little guy helped me read the easy instructions (so much easier than Colonial times), and he also helped foil wrap the edges to keep them from burning.
And then he sat down to watch the show……
No joke, this is not staged.
And in the end, and with very little effort we had a delicious and cozy dinner for a chilly winter night! Just like our Colonial ancestors! 😉
Yummy noises all around!
Worth noting! We love to see companies helping others! Marie Callender’s offers the “Comforts from Home” program – you can easily support our troops by entering the code on specially marked Marie Callender’s packages. Nothing extra to buy – just enter your code online and follow the prompts.