Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Meatless March Day #1: Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

This of course is our dinner meal.  For breakfast was 3 whole wheat pancakes with 2 tsp maple syrup, lunch was Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, and an orange and homemade cliff bar were my snacks.

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup
Servings: 6

1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz. diced tomatoes, canned or fresh work.  I prefer to buy and chop them!
1 (15 oz.) can white cannellini beans, drained & rinsed or equivalent from dry soaked beans
4 cups fat free vegetable broth
1 oz. chunk of good Parmesan cheese rind (optional-will add good flavor)
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen (defrosted) spinach
2 cups small pasta (cooked al dente), like elbows or shells

Rinse and drain beans. Puree beans with 1 cup of broth in a blender.

In a crock pot, combine broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, Parmesan rind, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Forty minutes before serving, add zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Add cooked pasta, cook 10 minutes more.  Remove bay leaves, rosemary sprig, Parmesan rind. 

Serve and enjoy!!  I like to double this recipe and freeze!  Makes a quick and easy meal next time.  Just freeze without the pasta in it, but I have forgotten and just froze with it before too.  It was still good!!


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