Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup!
One of our house favorite slow-cooker meals is Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup. There is even the option to place it in a freezer bag for later so you can place it in slow-cooker before you leave for work, which of course is my favorite option! Just about every time I make it, my husband says, “I could eat this every week!” Therefore, it is a dinner special when it gets made. I started using barley to go with it instead of rice due to the health benefits of barley compared to rice. We use Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Barley. This is also purchasable at most local grocery stores. Easily make two or more dinners of this by doubling or tripling the recipe to reduce the amount of preparing and dish washing in the long run. Here is the recipe:
1 package mild Italian sausage, ground. (You can also substitute for other types of meats if desired)
3 bell peppers, chopped (variety of colors; our favorites are yellow, orange, and red, also giving a variety of nutrients!)
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (I prefer Pink Himalayan Salt)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 can beef broth
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 cup uncooked Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Barley (makes 3 cups), or ½ cups rice (makes 3 cups)
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese for topping
- Brown the Italian sausage, or any meat you choose, in a medium-sized skillet until cooked through.
- While browning, chop onion and bell peppers, and mince the garlic.
- This step is optional: sauté the onion, bell peppers, and garlic in a medium-sized skillet. You can just as well place them uncooked in the freezer bag and they will cook in the Slow-Cooker when you start it.
- Allow time for meat to cool slightly before placing in freezer bag if you will be freezing it. If not, place the meat directly into the Slow-Cooker, along with the onions, bell peppers, and garlic.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the freezer bag except for the beef broth. Add this the day of cooking. If starting directly in the Slow-Cooker, place everything in and turn on desired setting depending on if you want it to be ready sooner or later.
- When ready to cook frozen bag of soup, thaw for a few min under warm water in sink just to allow the soup to separate from the bag to remove easily. Then place in Slow-Cooker and add beef broth. Turn on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
- When ready, cook barley or rice to serve soup over.