College Kitchen: Crock on!

Love it and leave it. Love it and leave it.

Crockoli Cheese Soup is a smooth, savory soup that’ll remind you of warm hugs from your grandma during the chilly fall days.

Blake Leigh

Crockoli Cheese Soup is a smooth, savory soup that’ll remind you of warm hugs from your grandma during the chilly fall days.

by Lucy Nieboer


Coming home from school, signs of life returning to frostbitten fingers, your book-filled backpack hits the ground with a thud. The scent of a savory dinner fills the room and you look up expectantly to the chef of the meal you are about to demolish. She isn’t wearing an apron and a June Cleaver haircut. She is round and shiny — your own personal food-bot, the slow cooker.

Pinterest is currently blowin’ up with recipes centered on this magical meal machine and with good reason. People who pin understand that busy days require fuel but because the days are so crammed with activity we often throw in the towel by dinner time, opting for takeout or frozen burritos.

Get a head start on your supper by preparing it in the morning. Prep your ingredients, throw them in a slow cooker and hit the road.



This hearty dish of chicken and pasta has the look of a casserole and tastes like chicken noodle soup without all that annoying broth. The wafting scent of comfort food seeping out of your apartment will have your neighbors banging down the door for a taste of this salty supper.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 carrot

2 stalks celery

1/4 onion

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup


1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 package of your favorite pasta

Finely dice your onion, carrot and celery. Place in the slow cooker. Add the chicken breasts, can of soup, spices and one 1 1/2 cans of water. Cook on low for eight hours.

When you’re ready to eat, simply boil some water and cook one or two portions of pasta (you’ll most likely want seconds). The chicken will probably have fallen apart by this point, but if it is still in whole pieces, tearing it apart with a fork should be a piece of cake. Plop some of the juicy meat on top of the steaming noodles, and go to town.



Crockoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli and cheese go together better than the cast members of Grease. They are unstoppable in this equally earthy, salty and pungent combo. This soup will keep your belly warm and your soul happy.

1 small head broccoli

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon butter

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


1 1/2 cups shredded four-cheese blend


Chop the broccoli into small pieces. Put them in a slow cooker, and cover with milk, butter and stock. Add spices. Cook on low for about eight hours. Fifteen minutes before you’re ready to eat, add cheese. Let all the cheese melt. For a smoother soup, use an immersion blender to liquefy further. Serve with warm slices of toast for dipping.


Slow Cookin’ Squash

Squash in autumn is an obvious choice. As one of the more filling members of the vegetable clan, its fiber keeps you full longer, and the initial sugar rush gives you a burst of energy.

1 acorn squash



Brown sugar (optional)

Cinnamon (optional)


Cut the squash into four sections. Scoop out all the seeds and pulp. Butter each piece, and add to the pot. Vegetables baked in the slow cooker won’t dry out, so there is no need to add water to this dish. Cook on low for three hours. If you prefer your squash sweet, add a teaspoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon to each section. If you like it more simply prepared, a dash of salt should suffice. Serve with a cup of soup for a cozy fall lunch.


Nothing is worse than coming home at 8:30 p.m., still hungry after a late afternoon lunch, and foraging for some slices of cheese and a piece of bread for dinner before hitting the books. Now that school is really in swing, you’ll need filling fall suppers to keep those neurons firing at full speed. College Kitchen reporting from the crock-pit. Over and out.