Last week I showed you guys three of the most awesome breakfasts you can make in your crock pot, including: pumpkin spice cinnamon buns, cheesy crack potato casserole and pumpkin pie oatmeal.
In fact, last week I even kicked off VeganMofo with my first giveaway, a copy of Kathy Hester's book The Vegan Slow Cooker,
Congrats to Trisha Silver, who was chosen by Random.org to receive a free copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker! Her favorite thing to make in the crock pot is enchiladas, and I can't say I blame her! I'll be contacting you later for shipping details. Don't be discouraged if you didn't win VeganMofoers, I've got an even bigger and better giveaway planned for the end of the month. The free-kitchen-appliance kind of giveaway if you know what I mean!
The next few weeks, we'll take on some soups, stews and sides, all of which would make the perfect starter to your dinner or an ideal lunch to pack for the office. Basically, these are dishes that can even be dinner if you want, but they'll make so much you can have them for lunch the next day too!
Since those of us in the Buckeye State are in the throes of fall, I decided the perfect recipe to kick of this week slow cooker meals is Vegan mushroom barley soup.
I know what you're thinking, "but Chubby Vegan Mom, I've had mushroom barley soup, it's not really hard to make vegan and it's not very special. Why should I bother trying your recipe?"
I have two reasons you MUST run out and bother buying all the ingredients to make this recipe. For starters, it's SO much more delicious than any other version you've EVER had. And secondly, it's so flipping easy it's the perfect starter meal to ease your way into the chilly weather.
SO just go out and do it. You won't be sorry and it'll make so much soup that you'll be able (and you'll want to) eat it for a few days after!
Vegan Mushroom Barley Soup
1 pound sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 medium to large sweet onion, cut up into smallish chunks
1 16 oz bag frozen carrot coins (you can use fresh, but we usually have a bag of frozen carrots on stand by)
2/3 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cups pearl barley (you can add another 1/2 cup if you like your soup extra thick)
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 packet of powdered mushroom gravy (I use Roads End, don't skip this part, it seriously MAKES the dish)
2 TBS vegan worcestershire sauce
3 TBS minced garlic
Pour vegetable broth, water, worcestershire sauce, minced garlic and powdered gravy mix into the crock pot. Add sliced mushrooms, onion chunks, frozen carrots, diced celery and pearl barley (aka, everything else). Stir super duper well. Put the lid on your crock pot and cook on low for five-six hours. Stir and check on soup every two hours.
Serve with your favorite bread (or stay tuned for an awesome garlic-butter pull apart bread you can make in your slow cooker as well!) and enjoy for the next few days. It's light enough to squelch that soup craving you have, but not so heavy you won't want to eat the leftovers!
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