Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

An easy, flavorful minestrone soup that can be made in the crockpot. We love this soup on cold winter nights.

Crockpot Minestrone Soup #winter #recipes #easy #soup | thepajamachef.comGrowing up, I didn’t like soup at all. Minestrone soup was probably my least favorite of them all, with all its tiny vegetables, white beans, and floaty spinach. The pasta was the only good part!! And there never was enough of it. It’s not like my mom served soup all the time or anything. I just remember it being an option. A gross option. Fortunately, my tastes have matured a bit. Now, I LOVE soup. Love love love it. I frequently make a big batch on the weekend and freeze leftovers in individual containers to make the lunch packing chore easier.

Crockpot Minestrone Soup #winter #recipes #easy #soup | thepajamachef.comIn the winter, this is one of my favorite soups to make. I usually have all the ingredients on hand so making this hearty Italian in the crockpot is super simple. There are some ways to fancy it up though, if that’s your thing–you can saute the veggies, use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs, etc. But the classic crockpot cooking style of “toss it in and forget it” TOTALLY works for this recipe. The one deviation I take from that is cooking the pasta separately, to help it not soak up all the broth right away. That’s not too hard, is it? Hope not, because this is one delicious soup!! Enjoy!

two years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
four years ago: Eggless Cookie Dough

Crockpot Minestrone Soup

  • Servings: 8
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adapted from Skinnytaste

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups/48 ounces chicken or vegetable broth, reduced sodium if possible
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 3 small diced carrots
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Parmesan cheese rind, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta like ditalini or small shells
  • 1 – 10 ounce package frozen spinach, defrosted with liquid squeezed out
  • Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Directions:

Add beans, broth, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, basil, and rosemary to a large crockpot. Stir and add Parmesan cheese rind, if using. Set crockpot to cook on low for 6-8 hours.

An hour before you want to eat, bring a small pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add pasta to crock pot along with defrosted spinach. Stir, cover, and let crockpot cook for another 30 minutes or so to heat through.

Before serving, remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan!

 

Notes:

  • If desired, you can saute the onion, carrots, and celery before adding to the crockpot.
  • Fresh herbs can be used in place of dry herbs.
  • A thicker minestrone can be achieved by pureeing half the beans with 2 cups chicken broth.
  • The pasta absorbs the broth as it sits, so when you reheat it, you may have to add additional broth or water.
  • Soup reheats and freezes well!

 

Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups

Spicy Sausage, Chicken, and Bean Stew

Sometimes Ben has gets to eat tofu. [Dinner tonight!! Yum.] I am very fortunate that he is such a willing eater. Ben will try just about anything once. But of course, being the good wife that I am, I don’t want to take [too much] advantage of his easygoing nature. And in order to reward him, sometimes I make man meals. You know what I’m talking about… the kind of dinners most ladies would never request but will eat once in awhile to make a special someone happy. Those sort of meals. Mhmmm. Not exactly a special Valentine’s dinner, but definitely a “love your guy” kind of dinner.

One of the latest in our world is this hearty, meaty, thick stew. Spicy Sausage, Chicken, and Bean Stew has tons of meatyness thanks to hot Italian sausage and flavorful chicken thighs [use boneless, skinless chicken thighs to make it easier and to cut down on the fat], but still plenty of healthy stuff like celery, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes to make me happy, as well as a plethora of herbs to add depth of flavor. Though I made this dish with Ben in mind, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it too. Don’t worry about the spicy factor either–this is one dish that did not “spice me out!” If you want a spicier stew, I would up the cayenne pepper or add a little hot sauce. This stew makes a ton so be prepared for a few days of leftovers. It also freezes well!

Spicy Sausage, Chicken, and Bean Stew [adapted from Rachael Ray’s just in time!]
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Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces ground hot Italian sausage
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and shredded
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 15 ounces chicken broth
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounces cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • pinch cayenne pepper

Directions:

Heat a large stockpot over medium heat, add Italian sausage and begin to cook, crumbling into large pieces. When fat starts to render, after about 2 minutes, add chicken and stir to incorporate. Season to taste with black pepper. Cook the chicken on each side for about 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown. When chicken is fully cooked, add celery, potatoes, carrots, onion and bay leaf. Cook for another 7-8 minutes to soften the veggies. Then pour in the wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Lastly, stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, thyme, sage, parsley, and cayenne pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then cook for 10-15 minutes, remove bay leaf and serve.

Time: 40 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings.