I dove in with wild abandon, got some inspiration, and went to the 24 hour Winco at 1 AM to kill some time and buy some groceries for the week. I'm a night dweller which works for crock potting.
I sauteed some of the veggies first. Not necessary, but I had access to a stove and I liked the added depth of flavor when I used to do this with meat, so I thought, why not? I dumped this and the next set of ingredients into a crock lined with a Reynolds Slow Cooker Bag (I love these, and I know they aren't really totally green, so sue me). I set the cooker on low and fell into bed at 4 AM and fell out of it 8 hours later. I should have added the bay leaf before I went to sleep, but I didn't have any until the next day. It all worked anyway. I woke up, added everything except the last 2 ingredients, let it cook another couple of hours, and added water to taste (not much).
Winner, Loser or Meh
OMG! I love this stoup and I want to have its babies! Rich, hearty, flavorful & the wine makes this meal.
Use 5-6 quart slow cooker
- 2 Tbl olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions diced
- 1/2 lb baby carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15oz can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained, 1/2 mashed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes & juice, mashed up a bit
- 1 14 oz package frozen baby lima beans
- 2 1/2 cups organic vegetable stock (I used boxed)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 head Napa cabbage, cored, chopped
- 2/3 C dry red wine - not optional totally makes this meal (I used Trader Joe's 2 Buck Chuck Merlot)
- 1/3 C whole wheat elbow macaroni
- some water
- Italian 3 cheese blend fresh shred (Parmesan, Asiago, Romano) for serving