Friday, October 25, 2013

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

This is the last recipe I made from the zucchini harvested from my little garden.  I had to remove the plant the first week in October.  The zucchinis were only growing to half as large as a normal sized zucchini before they began rotting on the plant.  If I brought them inside, they would start to get fuzzy after 24 hours.  The one plant gave us lots of veggies, but it was time to say good bye.

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The minestrone soup was really awesome the first day.  It made a lot so I froze the leftovers.  The zucchini got a bit more mushy upon defrosting and reheating that I'd have liked, but was met with zero complaints from the peanut gallery.  Well, at least no complaints about the zucchini.

After eating the soup for the second time my husband told me he does not like cooked kale, or spinach, or any leafy green.  They do get a bit slimy so I can't really blame him.  We've come to a compromise to leave the greens out of the soup and serve them in a side salad instead.

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Cooked greens or no, this is the perfect dish to make with the last of your zucchini harvest as the weather makes the transition from summer to fall.  It's a nice healthy hearty soup that makes your insides all toasty and warm after a crisp autumn afternoon!

Crockpot Minestrone Soup from Skinny Taste
1 small onion, chopped
2 large  carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed (i used 1 1/2c cooked cannellini beans)
3 c chicken broth (I used homemade)
1 oz chunk of good Parmesan cheese rind (I omitted because I didn't have it)
1 fresh rosemary sprig (I used a t of dried rosemary)
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I used 2 t dried)
1/4 c chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (I used 2 T dried)
salt and fresh pepper
1 med zucchini, chopped
2 c chopped fresh or frozen (defrosted) spinach or kale (I used kale)
2 cups cooked small pasta  (al dente) (I used ditalini)

Rinse and drain beans. Puree beans with 1 c broth. In crockpot, toss broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, Parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.40 min before soup done, add zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 min. Add cooked pasta, cook 10 min more. Remove bay leaves, rosemary sprig, parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with extra parm if desired.

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