First, let me tell you my sob story. The building I live in had all the ovens removed because of some kind of fire code. I didn't learn this until after I'd applied to live here. It's torturous to love cooking and baking and have to spend a year without a stove or an oven! But then, one happy day, I found a gorgeous crock-pot on Amazon for $20, and now I have both that and the microwave in which to prepare food! Much as I might complain, I know that I really am blessed to have that much, plus the money to buy all the delicious produce my heart desires to experiment with cooking.
I think crock-pot cooking is really quite fun, especially in the winter-time. Soups are lovely in fall and winter, and crock-pots make it so easy! I buy some assortment of veggies, beans, pasta, rice, or whatever and throw it all together with some spices before I leave for class in the morning and voila! a delicious dinner is waiting (I can smell it from the stairwell... my poor tortured housemates!) when I get home that night.
Tonight's soup was inspired by a recipe in the book "Wholefood" by Jude Bleareau. (Which I highly recommend, by the way.) She put sweet potato, winter squash, and garbanzo beans together in a recipe, and, well, first of all, I happened to have all those things, and second of all, it's 23 degrees outside and that just sounded amazing.
So, here's my Winter Butternut Soup:
1 butternut squash (or other winter squash), peeled and roughly chopped
2 sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 large onion, chopped small
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 can garbanzo beans
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups water
Now, here's the best part: throw it all into the crock-pot (potatoes and garbanzo beans will cook best closer to the bottom of the pot, but you can stir it up a bit anyway to mix the flavors), and let it cook on low for 8 hours. I started it later than I meant to today, and so was impatient and hungry and dug in at about hour 6 and a half, so the beans were still a little al dente (can you use that word to describe beans? anyways.) but it was still delicious!
Had to take another picture from the side just to show off my new dinnerware. I got my first set of porcelain dishes yesterday ($11.25 for a set of 4!) and I just think they're so pretty!
Let me know what you think of this recipe--I'm not a very experienced cook, so I'd love to hear what changes you would make! Enjoy!