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WakeMed Blogs

Recipe Corner: Super Fast Slow-Cooker Soups

November 30, 2017

Warm that winter chill with these deliciously simple and healthy soup recipes. The prep time is “soup”er short; all you need is a crock pot!

View a printable version of these recipes.

Slow-Cooker Beef & Barley Stew


Prep Time: 25 m | Total Time: 8 h 25 m


  • 4 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup uncooked hulled (whole-grain) barley
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large thyme sprigs, plus leaves for garnish
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups (1-in.) pieces carrot


  1. Stir together first 8 ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add thyme sprigs and bay leaves; dollop tomato paste on top.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
  3. Add half of beef; cook until well browned, about 6 minutes, turning once.
  4. Add beef to slow cooker. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and beef.
  5. Scatter carrots over beef. Cover and cook on LOW until meat and grains are tender, about 8 hours.
  6. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  7. Ladle stew into 8 bowls; sprinkle with thyme leaves.

[via Cooking Light]

Sweet Potato, Chicken & Quinoa Soup


Prep Time: 10 m | Total Time: 4 h 10 m


  • 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup quinoa I used a black bean quinoa package
  • 2 pound large sweet potatoes ~3-1/2 cups
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans
  • 1 can (14.25 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 packet (1.25 ounces) chili seasoning mix
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Optional: fresh parsley


  1. Spray the slow cooker with nonstick spray. Remove the fat from the chicken breasts and put them into the slow cooker along with the rinsed quinoa.
  2. Remove the skins and chop the sweet potatoes into cubes adding them into the slow cooker.
  3. Drain and rinse the black beans and add those in.
  4. Add in the undrained petite diced tomatoes, minced garlic, chili seasoning mix, and chicken broth.
  5. Place on high for 3-5 hours.
  6. Using two forks, shred the chicken and stir all the ingredients together.
  7. Add salt and pepper and if desired fresh parsley.
  8. Serve immediately.

[via Chelsea’s Messy Apron]

7-Ingredient Crock Pot Black Bean Soup


Prep Time: 20 m | Total Time: 8 h on low OR 4 h on high


  • 3 cups dried black beans soaked
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil (Coconut oil or butter will also work just something to grease the pan and veggies)
  • 1 yellow onion medium, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 TB salt (Reduce this if you plan to use broth that contains salt)
  • 8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, or a combo of water and broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced (optional)


  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the chopped onion and red pepper.
  3. Sauté the vegetables for 4-5 minutes, just until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the minced garlic and stir for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  5. Pour the black beans into the crock-pot, followed by the pepper and onion mixture.
  6. Add the salt and broth. Stir the soup ingredients to combine.
  7. Cook the soup in the crock-pot for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  8. Once the soup is done (the beans are soft), stir in the 1/2 cup of cilantro. If you’d like, stir in the juice from one lime, too.
  9. Serve warm with fresh cilantro, sour cream, rice, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, or salsa.

*The soup alone is very basic and meant to be served with toppings. You can also drain a portion of the beans to use for nachos, quesadillas, or tacos.

[via Kristin Marr, Live Simply]