Monday, November 5, 2012

recipe: crock-pot minestrone soup

I got a Crock-Pot as a gift at my bridal shower about two and a half years ago. I love the idea of making my meals in a slow cooker, especially because it makes my house smell wonderful. When you're a vegetarian, there are a limited number of things you can use your Crock-Pot for, aside from things like soup. Minestrone is my favorite soup, so for the past two and a half years I've been searching for a good Crock-Pot minestrone soup recipe. Unfortunately, all of the recipes I'd tried have been just so bland.

Friends, I'm happy to report that my search has come to an end. Thank you, once again, to the fine folks at America's Test Kitchen for perfecting this recipe.

I took one major shortcut with this recipe by using a can of beans instead of dried beans that require being soaked overnight. And guess what? It still turned out delicious. Also, I substituted garbanzo beans for white beans because (1) I'm kind of obsessed with garbanzo beans; and (2) there is no bean that is tastier than a garbanzo bean.

This recipe screams, "FALL!" Which is fitting because the cool weather seems to be sticking around. Tony and I ate it for dinner with Valerie after we carved our pumpkins.

This recipe made about six servings. The three of us ate it for dinner, and I had it for lunch the next day. I froze the rest and reheated it the other night, and it reheats pretty well.

Crock-Pot Minestrone Soup
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2 cup small pasta, such as farfalline
  • 1/2 cups minced fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese for serving

Combine the onion, garlic, olive oil, oregano and red pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring once. Put in slow cooker.

Add vegetable broth, tomato sauce, beans and carrots. Stir to combine. Cover and cook at least 4 hours on high.

Add zucchini and pasta and cook on high for 20-30 minutes.

Stir in spinach and allow to wilt. Stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

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