Once you’ve researched and bought the best slow cooker and learned how to safely use it, it’s time to try making one of the most basic staples: soup. Sure, you could follow a tried and true slow cooker soup recipe, but it’s fun to get creative — with some guidance of course. We’re outlining the best bases, meats, and veggies for slow-cooked soups along with proper amounts and cooking times. While the appliance does enable you to have a “dump it and forget it” mentality, there are a few rules of thumb to follow.

Rules For Slow Cooking Soup

Best soup bases

Best meats

Best veggies

Best extras

Best seasonings

For more slow cooker recipes, check out Brit + Co on Pinterest!

(Illustration via Marisa Kumtong / Brit + Co)