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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Cooking: Minestrone Soup

Soup and my slow-cooker are winter essentials.  There is always homemade soup in the refrigerator, and my crockpot is busy at least three times a week.  On Friday, I tried a slow cooker recipe for minestrone soup.

It comes from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Dea.  If you have a crockpot, you need this cookbook. I borrowed it from the library, renewed it twice, and finally purchased a copy of my own. We have tried at least a dozen recipes and all except one has been a hit.

CLEAN-OUT-THE-PANTRY MINESTRONE

Ingredients:
2 (15-ounce) cans canned beans, drained
1 (15-ounce) can tomatoes, and their juice
1 (15-ounce) can corn and its juice
2 cups chopped vegetables (fresh or frozen)
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
kosher salt
black pepper

Directions: 
Use a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Open the cans and dump the contents into the stoneware. I drained the bean goop only, and kept the tomato and corn juices. Add the chopped vegetables.  This is a good recipe to use when you've got a mishmash of past-prime vegetables in your crisper drawer. Slightly wilted celery or browned cauliflower is fine to toss in. Pour in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or high for 4 to 5 hours.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes:
I used one can each of dark red kidney beans and canellini beans. I also threw in diced carrots, slightly wilted celery, a small onion, and some broccoli.  Margaret would have preferred a vegetarian version, but I used the chicken broth we had in the pantry. We also sprinkled parmesan cheese on top before serving.

It just doesn't get any easier than this, folks! The soup is delicious and I'll definitely make it again.


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9 comments:

Vivienne said...

I didn't realise you were cooking this one in the slow cooker. I like the idea of putting beans in it too. Might have to make this one soon.

Beth F said...

Love the sound of this soup, especially because I would likely have all the ingredients on hand, so it's a good pantry dinner.

Oh and if I forget to start the soup early, I could do it on the stovetop.

Stacy said...

I have a hearty lasagna soup in the crockpot as I write this. I think of my CP as a member of the family:) I will be on the lookout for this book.

Staci said...

Easy to follow and looks wonderful!!!

JoAnn said...

Vivienne - Yes, I love my slow cooker! The beans seem to make it a little more hearty.

Beth F - I love recipes that use ingredients you would already have on hand. This is a keeper.

Stacy - I'll bet if you check this book out of the library, you'll end up buying a copy of your own. It's excellent! I love the sound of hearty lasagna soup... maybe you could do a weekend cooking post next week?

Staci - It is... on both counts :-)

Margot said...

You are my kind of cook JoAnn. I love easy but tasty dishes as well as those that save some of the veggies in the refrig. I'm going to check the library for this book.

JoAnn said...

Margot - I'm all about easy and delicious... using the vegies in my refrig that are just past prime is a real bonus! If you get this book from the library, I'll bet you will end up buying your own copy.

Heather said...

I have to make a pot of veggie soup this week as my fridge is bulging. It's fine as my family loves it when I make soup, any type.

JoAnn said...

Heather - We are huge soup fans, too! This week I'm making corn and sausage chowder.