Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Slow Cooker Minestrone
This was actually our dinner last night, but I ran out of time to post. Jen B. and I both wanted to get out of our houses as we've been stuck at home with sick kids for longer than we'd like (really, isn't more than a day stuck at home with a toddler--regardless of their health--too much?!), so we went to the mall, lunch, and Trader Joe's. With all of that running around I just didn't have time to post my recipe. What about after the fun, you say? Or after the boy went to bed last night? Well, when we got home I was busy throwing stuff in the crockpot for dinner, then after dinner I spent 45 minutes on the phone with my friend Jess. Then there was stuff on the Tivo to watch...you know how it goes.
Anyway, this is another recipe from Meal Planning 101 blog via Jen B's blog. The husband is taking a bible study class on Wednesday nights for the next 12 weeks (well, I guess 11 weeks since last night's is done), so I'm going to be doing crockpot dinners on Wednesday nights to make sure he gets to eat before he leaves. Jen had really liked this, and I had all the vegetables on hand that needed to be used up, so I figured what the heck. It met my vegetarian criteria and furthers me along in my "embrace the bean" mentality I'm trying to adopt...even though minestrone has never been my favorite soup.
Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 Carrots, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
4-6 cups of Vegetable Broth or Chicken Stock
1 can diced Tomatoes
1 can of Red Kidney Beans
1 can of Great Northern Beans
2 tbsp tomato Paste
2 tsp Italian Seasoning (or 1tsp oregano, 1tsp basil)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or combo of cheese and Parm-Reg rinds--see notes)
1/2 cup basil pesto (premade or fresh)
1/2 jar leftover marinara sauce
1 cup macaroni (cooked)
Finely chop onion and slice carrots and onion and add them to your slow cooker. Chop garlic and add. Gradually add stock, tomatoes, mixed beans, tomato paste, spices, Parmesan cheese and pesto. Turn on low heat for 6-8 hours.
After cook time is complete:
Fill a large stove-top pot with water and season with salt and bring to a boil. When boiling add macaroni and simmer according to package directions. When macaroni is done, drain and set aside. Scoop macaroni into bowls and ladle soup over top. Serve immediately.
I can almost guarantee that no one in the history of slow cookers has thrown the ingredients for minestrone soup into the crockpot faster than I did yesterday. We had just gotten home from our day out, the baby was screaming because he was hungry, and I realized I needed to get dinner in the crockpot ASAP so we'd be able to eat before the husband had to leave. If you've never breastfed a baby, you may not understand the urgency with which this task needed to be done, but if you HAVE breastfed a baby and know what it's like to hear them screaming and not be able to feed them right away, well...you know why I hurried. I didn't have any marinara sauce to throw in, nor did I have pesto. I used the whole can of tomato paste to try and make up for the lack of marinara sauce. I put in some basil to try and make up for the pesto.
The result? It was okay. Jen said she thinks my not using real pesto probably impacted it a lot. Since I'm not a big minestrone fan to begin with, I thought it was good considering. However, I have a TON left...almost a whole crockpot full of it. The boy didn't eat it, the husband didn't have a whole lot (he doesn't like soup which I totally don't understand). I made ham and cheese paninis along with the soup, and he liked the sandwich a lot better. I think I'm going to freeze most of what was left because it would take me at least two weeks to eat what's left on my own. I don't think this is one I'd make again, but that's only because it's not my favorite soup, and I already have a lot of it left.