Soup Before Sunrise

I decided that I was going to make soup this morning even before I stepped outside into the blistering cold.  Ok, let’s be honest, 38 is pretty typical for March in Chicago, but after our 80 degree heat wave it felt pretty chilly.  This weekend, I finally had a little time to flip through my new slow cooker cookbook




I am a huge fan of this book as it is based around healthy and sound principles and carries lots of extra nutrition knowledge, slow cooker tips, and healthy cooking suggestions.  The instructions are easy to follow and who doesn’t love a one pot meal.  I didn’t even make it past the first chapter before discovering, like 10 recipes, that I had to make.  I decided on the Mighty Minestrone.  To save time, I prepped some of the veggies last night while I was making dinner.


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This morning, it was super easy to chop up the rest of the veggies, empty the cans, add in some spices, and cover with broth.





I had everything stirred up in the crockpot before the sun was beginning to rise.




I set the crockpot on low and headed off to the gym with specific instructions for the BOY to add in the the last two ingredients.




When I walked in the door after work and a haircut, dinner was ready in the crockpot.


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And it looked unbelievable!




And tasted even better! 

This tomato based broth is perfectly seasoned and this chunky soup is filling enough to be a meal on its own!






Mighty Minestrone

From The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth



6 baby red potatoes, scrubbed, left unpeeled and diced (per recipe, I substituted 1 peeled and chopped sweet potato)

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 zucchini, coarsely chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained

1/4 cup red wine

1 tsp dried basil

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Parmesan cheese garnish (optional)


Place the vegetables, beans, broth, tomatoes, red wine, basil, bay leaf, oregano, salt, and pepper in the slow cooker, stir gently to mix, cover, and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until veggies are tender.  Stir in the spinach and cook for 30 minutes, or until the spinach is hot.  Add the red wine vinegar and stir.  Stir to incorporate the spinach, garnish with the Parmesan, if using.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.


*Chef’s tip: To save chopping time, use 4 to 5 cups fresh prepared vegetables of your choice (corn, broccoli cauliflower, peppers, sliced carrots, cut green beans, squash, etc.)

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