Tuesday, March 8, 2011

cozy soup day

who doesn't love soup on a rainy day...

and even better, putting soup in the crock pot in the morning and letting the smells drift thru the house all day long....

I'm putting a batch of Crock-Pot Minestrone soup on, and cutting up extra stuff, going to run over to my friend Kim's house later this morning and put a batch into her crock pot also...

blog note...when taking a meal to a friend think outside the box...are they okay with you coming into their home and prep-ing the meal there?...would they be okay with you coming over in the morning and putting the meal in their own crock pot?

...this is a good easy soup that is full of flavor and tons of veggies...but mild that kids love it...
it's also easy to make on the stove top...and actual this was a stove top recipe that I changed into a crock pot one...
it's also a very versatile recipe to make vegetarian or to use what you have on hand...clean out the fridge and pantry on this one...

Throw Down-Clean out the Pantry Minestrone Soup
1 lb ground beef (optional, leave out for vegetarian or change to ground turkey or pork or sausage)
1 medium onion, chopped about 1/2 cup
1 clove garlic, grated or chopped
2 cups spinach, chopped (cabbage or kale can be substituted)
1 can broth (beef, chicken, veggie) or
     1 1/4 cup water and 2 tsp beef or chicken bouillon
1/4 cup fresh basil-chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil or Italian seasoning)
3-4 cups veggies
     chopped celery, sliced carrots, zucchini, squash, green beans (fresh, canned, or frozen), corn (fresh, canned or frozen) etc...don't count the spinach from above in the 3-4 cups or the tomatoes below
1 can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 can beans, undrained-kidney (red or white), black, your choice
1 cup shell pasta (or whatever you have on hand, small tortellinis or raviolis also work)
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese to top

1.  Brown ground beef in skillet with onion and garlic, drain and put into crock pot.
2.  Add all other ingredients except pasta and cheese...cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.  about one hour before serving add pasta to the crock pot and stir.  Soup is done with pasta is tender.
3.  Serve warm with cheese on top....and with fresh bread if you can!
all the stuff just thrown into the crock...pre-pasta of course!

this is so great on a rainy day like today...can't wait for dinner...I also threw a batch of French bread into my bread maker...

I highly recommend people use their bread machines...so many have them and leave them in the dark corner of their pantry or out in the garage, pull it out, dust it off and throw in a nice batch of bread....if you don't have one you can always find them at thrift stores or yard sales or on clearance sales this time of year.

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