The Crockpot is my friend. I really wanted to learn how to utilize my crockpot this year, and not just make food that was edible- I wanted GOOD food! Convenience, health and deliciousness all rolled into one. This recipe definitely fits the bill.
This minestrone recipe was originally given to me from my sis-in-law years ago (Hi, Kate!) and it was not a crockpot recipe. I always wanted to try to make the transfer, but never did. However, now that I'm like a crockpot advocate, I finally I did make it a crockpot recipe and this minestrone passed with flying colors. So here it is! As always, I'm going to give it to you exactly how I made it, but feel free to tweak it to your tastebuds.
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 Tbl. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbl. fresh basil, chopped (could sub with dry, just use less)
1 tsp. sea salt
2 16 oz cans kidney beans, rinsed (i used 1 dark red, 1 light red)
1 28 oz can Italian Style Diced Tomatoes
41 oz chicken stock (or 3 cans)
1 zucchini, cubed
1 squash, cubed
whole grain pasta shells (small or medium)
Put all ingredients except zucchini, squash, and pasta into the slow-cooker and put on low for 6-7 hours. With only 30 mins left of cooking time add zucchini and squash in the crockpot and bump heat up to high. During this last 30 minutes, cook pasta according to directions on box. When time is up scoop a little pasta into your bowl and then ladle soup over the pasta.
I paired it with a 1/2 grilled cheese for the boys and they both ate it all up! As a mom, I will never get over seeing my kids gobble up their vegetables :)
NOTE: It is not squash season, so I did omit the squash tonight. But believe me, had I the choice, it would most definitely be in there!