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My Favorite Minestrone

March 10, 2010

Leave it to me that as soon as it starts to get warm out, I decide I want soup.  Who does that?  Sure, I want warmer weather foods, and I can’t possibly get enough fruit into my system, but for some reason, soup has been front and center on my mind for the last few days.

To be honest, having a crockpot is one of the best things ever.  Basically you just set it and forget it.  Well, not so much with this recipe.  You have to do 2 more steps after you set it and forget it, but they are easy!  Plus, like all crockpot recipes, this makes the house smell fantastic!

Minestrone basically means “everything in the kitchen.”  I like to think of this as an “everything but the kitchen sink” recipe.  Here’s what you need (from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook):

  • 3 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced (or you can be lazy like me and just coin them)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, smashed with their juice (or 1 14. oz can whole tomatoes, 1 can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed, half of them smashed
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 10 oz. bag frozen lima beans (or you can just throw the whole 16 oz. bag in because you will forget about the remaining lima beans in your fridge and they will never be used!)
  • pepper to taste
  • bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (think merlot or pinot noir
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage sliced or 5 leaves Swiss chard chopped (or you can always use half a bag of cole slaw mix!)
  • 1/3 cup small elbow or shell pasta

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Once you have all of your veggies chopped, you want to heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium heat, and add all of the veggies.  Let them cook, stirring them often, until them are soft (5-10 minutes).

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While they were cooking add your drained and rinsed kidney beans to the crock.  I actually just mashed up half of them right in there:

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You also want to add your tomatoes (I mashed up the whole tomatoes in there too):

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Then add the veggies:

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And finally your stock, salt, pepper, bay leaf. lima beans and parsley (I snipped them right into the crock with kitchen shears):

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Give it a stir, cover and let it cook on LOW for 5 hours.  After 5 hours add the wine:

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And your cabbage or swiss chard (I forgot to get this, and didn’t want to run to the store for 1 item, so I improvised with cole slaw that I had on hand to make my nutty coleslaw).  I threw in about half of the bag.

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Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours.  Then stir in the pasta.  I found whole wheat elbows, that were more twisty than regular elbow macaroni.  I thought they were adorable!

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Cook on HIGH for a half hour, or until the pasta is tender.  I told you this was an easy recipe, didn’t I?

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I really like mine with
some freshly grated parmesan on top, and a little whole wheat french bread on the side for dipping.

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This is really a perfect winter meal, but whatever, I like to march to the beat of my own drummer!  Plus it’s yummy, so that’s really all that matters, right?

What’s your favorite “everything but the kitchen sink” meal?

Don’t forget about my Horizon chocolate milk giveaway!  I’ll post the winner tomorrow.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2010 9:15 am

    Morgan this looks sooooooooo good!!!

  2. March 10, 2010 9:45 am

    that looks delicious! I need a crock pot hehe

  3. lowandbhold permalink
    March 10, 2010 10:04 am

    I love love love soup pretty much all year round! I wish I could use my crock pot, but I’m gone too long for work and it always burns. So sad.

  4. March 10, 2010 10:16 am

    Totally saving this soup recipe!!! And I crave soup year round – even in the summer. So you’re not totally weird to me. 🙂

  5. March 10, 2010 10:24 am

    looks heavenly!!!!!! I love minestrone.

  6. March 10, 2010 11:06 am

    i love minestrone! how do you know what wine to use for cooking? i always see it inrecipes but never know how to pick em. are there specific labeled cooking wines?

  7. March 10, 2010 11:51 am

    Oh Yum! I love Minestrone Soup 🙂

  8. March 10, 2010 11:56 am

    Soup isn’t a “cold weather” food for me… I’ll eat it even if it’s 90 degrees out. :p My mom sold her crockpot on eBay a few years ago. I was mad.

    ❤ ❤

  9. March 10, 2010 1:25 pm

    Minestrone is a fantastic soup and yours looks great. I love veggies and beans and pasta.

  10. March 10, 2010 2:41 pm

    boy that soup looks hearty!! I love everything but the kitchen sink approaches to everything!!! especially things like soups and cookies and stir fries! 🙂 You also used one of my favorite types of pasta!! Mmm mmm can’t wait to have some soup tonight!!

  11. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth) permalink
    March 10, 2010 5:17 pm

    this sounds great- minestrone is a great comfort food ❤

    xoxo
    shelley

    http://findinghappinessandhealth.wordpress.com

  12. March 10, 2010 10:01 pm

    That looks really good. I like soup in the summer and ice cream in the winter!

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