Sunday, October 4, 2009

Minestrone Stoup

The weather is changing here and I was dying for a "stoupy" hearty meal. My environmentally conscious, composting, grow-their-own-food, hybrid & solar panel owning friends showed me a non vegetarian slow cooker book that they hadn't really been using, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. My buds aren't slow cooker kinds of people, so lucky for me, I have the book for a while. 

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.

The Recipe

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 
Saute the celery, carrots, onion, zucchini, and garlic in olive oil in 2 batches, just until translucent & some color started to show on the veggies. (optional)  Add everything except the last 5 ingredients.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Add everything else except the cheese and cook on low for 1 1/2-2 hours.  Serve with cheese.


  1. This was sooooo good! Thank you.

  2. Super excited about this... my husband just asked for some vegetable soup. I think this will hit the spot!