By Wendy Ruopp, March 13, 2013 - 10:57am
Slow cookers seem to have a season. They’re used all fall and winter like a favorite down jacket, then tucked away once the crocuses start pushing up through the ground. But the best part about the slow cooker is that it’s convenient. And, surely, convenience has no season. Why pack it away just because it’s T-shirt weather?
Don't Miss: Spring Slow Cooker Recipes for Your Crock Pot
If you love your slow cooker and want to keep using it as often as possible, I suggest rethinking what you cook in it. Lighter dishes are what I’m in the mood for now. And because I want to spend less time in the kitchen and more time outside, I want crock pot recipes that let me skip precooking and browning ingredients before they go into the slow cooker. I just want to load up my slow cooker, press “Start” and forget it.
For the March/April issue of EatingWell magazine Carolyn Malcoun developed slow-cooker recipes with two goals in mind: keep it springy and keep it load-and-go easy. The results are sensational. For her Chicken Pho recipe, she transforms chicken soup into Vietnamese pho with whole cloves and star anise plus lots of fresh herbs at the end. The fresh herbs and seasonings more than make up for what might be lost by skipping the initial browning step.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Pho
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Chicken Pho, a classic Vietnamese soup, is a perfect recipe for a slow cooker. The chicken and seasonings of star anise, cloves and ginger simmer all day in the crock pot, welcoming you home with an alluring aroma. Serve with the essential garnishes for pho soup—fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chiles and lime—and let everyone top their own. Serve chile-garlic sauce for those who want more heat.
What are you making in your slow cooker this week? Tell us what you think below.