Alphabet Soup (slow cooker)

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Still can’t find the “Y” so I’m going with “CHEF”.

As a kid, I couldn’t wait for mom to make alphabet soup for Saturday lunch. I looked for pieces of macaroni to spell out “RANDY” and was usually disappointed that I couldn’t find a “Y” to complete my name. Then I was disappointed that the soup was no longer hot when I got around to eating it. See it in my new slow cooker cookbook at Amazon.

According to the website, triviahappy.com, alphabet soup has quite a history:

Alphabet soup seems like an iconic piece of kitsch, canned by Campbell’s and eaten around 1950s lunch tables. But the history of pasta-driven literacy is much longer than you’d expect. In fact, alphabet soup goes back 150 years, and people have been playing with it the entire time.

In 1886, one paper published a tutorial about macaroni and included alphabet pasta in its list, as well as pasta in the shape of hearts, stars, and crowns. That entire decade, the ITALIAN MACARONI with the alphabetic shape was being sold across the country, but it was invented even earlier.

Yes, alphabet soup was the hottest culinary innovation of…1867. Just after the Civil War, the Tri-Weekly Standard in Raleigh first reported on a new fun type of food. The short item marveled:

The latest culinary novelty is alphabetical soup. Instead of the usual cylindric and star shaped morsels of macaroni which have hitherto given body to our broth, the letters of the alphabet have been substituted. These letters of paste preserve their forms in passing through the pot.

So,now you know the history of alphabet soup. Make my slow cooker version and enjoy trying to spell out your name.  Be sure to take a bite along the way. It’s much better while still hot!

Ingredients:
5 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
28-ounce can stewed tomatoes (with liquid)
1 cup fresh carrots (sliced)
1 cup fresh celery (sliced)
1/2 cup yellow onion (chopped)
1 cup fresh cremini mushrooms (sliced)
¼ cup fresh basil (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cups alphabet pasta (such as Davinci)
Parmesan cheese (grated for garnish)

Directions:
Plug in your slow cooker and set the heat to low.

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker except for the pasta and cheese. Cover and cook for 7 hours. Add pasta and stir. Turn heat setting to high and cook for 20-30 minutes or until pasta is done. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle cheese on top. I like to bring extra cheese to the table in case I need more for my soup.

What can you spell?

About Valley Vegetarian

Providing consistently good vegetarian comfort food recipes. Real food for real people.
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