Thursday, October 6, 2016

Quick and Easy Hearty Minestrone Soup (Slow Cooker)

Quick and Easy Hearty Minestrone Soup

In my brain, "Minestrone Soup" translates to something like:

Italian Soup with a hearty and flavorful tomato broth and... throw in whatever the heck you have in the refrigerator and/or cupboard.

I bet that's not the exact translation though. Maybe I should "Google" that?!

Today I threw my Minestrone Soup in the Crock Pot (Slow Cooker) in the morning and it was ready by lunch time.  It was easy, delicious, and healthy and I am looking forward to the leftovers.  Today, I also made up a pot of THIS SOUP for my husband.  Both soups use some of the same ingredients and have similar flavors, but the Minestrone Soup is lighter and leaner.

Quick and Easy Hearty Minestrone Soup
(Slow Cooker/Crock Pot Recipe)

1 can (14 ounce) low sodium beef broth
1 can (14.5 ounce) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (15.5 ounce) cannellini beans (rinsed/drained)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 rib of celery, finely diced
1 large carrot (9-10 baby carrots), finely diced
1/2 sweet or yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
1/4 tsp granulated sugar (more to taste)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (more to taste)
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning (herbs)
3/4 pound extra lean ground beef, cooked and crumbled
1/2 of a small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup frozen green beans, broken into smaller bite sized pieces

Place the first 14 ingredients (beef broth through dried Italian seasoning) into a Crock Pot (Slow Cooker).  Stir to combine; cover and cook on Low for 2 1/2 hours. 

Add in the cooked and crumbled ground beef, chopped zucchini, and frozen green beans.  Cover and cook on Low for one more hour.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  I started the soup with just 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp black pepper, then added a little more of each at the end.

Makes 5 to 6 servings.  Top each bowl of soup with a little grated Parmesan cheese if desired.


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