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.
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
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.
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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