I made a nice soup in my crock pot last night!
about 1lb beef chunks (sold as stew meat at most meat counters)
2-3 carrots, washed and cut into small pieces
2 celery stalks, washed and cut into small pieces (even the leaves. they are chewable and have lots of celery flavor!!!)
8oz white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 can beef stock (from the soup aisle, same size as the condensed soups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper (and whatever spices you want, really) to taste
about 6oz water
Put all ingredients in the crock pot, set that sucker on high, and let it go for about 4 hours, until the meat's done all the way through and the veggies are soft. Zach made some noodles (the ones he used to make the chicken soup, in fact) to go with it. I had 2 bowls without blinking, it was so good. :) You can turn this into stew if you add some thickener, like corn starch. I'd dissolve a few tablespoons or so in some water or broth, then stir it in until desired thickness is reached, adding more starch as needed.