There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
Caribbean Black Bean Soup
Big, bold, and full of flavor—that’s the name of the game with this easy soup. It uses a whole head of garlic for an intense savory quality. Don’t worry: Over the eight-hour cook time, the flavor mellows a bit. Three jalapeño peppers, with their seeds, add a good bit of spicy kick; if you prefer a milder dish, seed the peppers and remove the inner membranes. As is, the soup is vegetarian; but if you want to add meat, we’d recommend browned cubes of pork shoulder. Serve with a cooling mango salad, or serve over rice to tame the flame.