Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Soup it UP: Beans Optional

When you have a recipe that works, you just go with it, right?  Why try something new if the old standby is great?  I felt that way about my Minestrone Soup recipe.  It worked, I liked it, why try a new one?  This new one used a crockpot!  Ok ok, how hard is it to simmer soup on the stove?  About as tough as simmering it in the crock pot.  One thing I have noticed about my recipe is that it needs a day to sit and meld after you cook it, then it tastes even better.  The crockpot's slow cook method, helps greatly with the melding process.
The recipe has two parts, one that cooks in the crock pot all day and one that you add a little while before you serve it.  Sure it's prep, but it makes for a quick dinner.  I'm not sure about you, but when I get home from work, I just want to eat not prep things for dinner.  After dinner I'll do all sorts of prep for the next day, but when I get home?  No thanks.  This is why Crockpot cooking works for me.
Hope you like this one - you can go crazy with beans if you like them or ditch the beans.  I'm not a bean lover but Andy is.  I ate some of the beans, but drew my line in the sand at one point.

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups potatoes, chopped
1.5 cups celery, chopped
1 white onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable stock ( I prefer low sodium broth)
2 cups water
3 cups V8 ( or tomato juice)
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cups zucchini, diced
1  cups tubular (ditalini) pasta
1 can (15 oz) green beans, drained

Place your diced tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, celery, white onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, bay leaves into your crockpot.

Add in vegetable stock, water, and V8. Cover and cook on LOW for  6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on HIGH.

After cooking time is up, add in red kidney beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, green beans and pasta , and cook on high heat for an additional 10-15 minutes until pasta is tender.

Serve with your favorite crackers, salad or warm bread!

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