I love Trader Joe's (except when they randomly stop selling my fave snacks). Anyway, I love that place, but I can't always come up with enough parts of a meal to make a whole dinner. Mostly because I live a low-carb lifestyle and though they carry excellent chicken and nitrate-free sausages, I have never had too much luck with their veggies. There have been, let's say, freshness issues coupled with the difficulty of buying for two when everything seems to come in bags of eight or more. Eight or more vegetables on the verge of compost.
So, having said all that, here is the soup recipe I came up with that uses mostly Trader Joe's ingredients: (oh, and apologies if you are a vegetarian, probably wanna skip this one)
2 boxes organic free range chicken broth
1 1 lb package nitrate-free kielbasa
1 small onion (I like to use the sweet ones), chopped
1 or 2 organic carrots, coined
1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 bag Trader Joe's 17 bean and barley mix
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
pat of butter (because in my world fat isn't evil!)
Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute
Now If I was making this in a stock pot on the stove, I would soak the beans ahead of time, brown the onion and celery in butter and olive oil, then brown the kielbasa before adding all the other ingredients. But I have been making this in my crockpot lately and that really just involves throwing everything in the pot, putting it on low at 10 am and eating it piping hot and well cooked at 6 pm, yeah! (Thanks to Rosie and Geoff for the ability to time shift dinner cooking!!) This also allows me to come home and give Chester credit for cooking me dinner. Yes I talk to my cat. Yes I ask him if he made us dinner.
Be sure to rinse your beans, but no need to soak ahead!
Chop chop choppity chop
Here's the trick my mom showed me for getting the box of broth to pour easily, stab it at the other end to release the air! (This is only a good idea, of course, if you are using the whole box.)
Put it all together in the crock pot, set to low and cover!
This feeds us both for two days and sometimes one lunch! I like to toast low-carb bread and slather it with butter and garlic for the side, mmm...