Thursday, November 3, 2011

Autumn Harvest Minestrone

Tonight was the final night for my week of Crock Pot cooking. We have plenty of leftovers to get us through the weekend, even with me taking leftovers for lunch all week! While the meals were good this week, I must admit that I'm excited for some non-slow cooker meals next week. It's really nice to come home and have dinner ready, but when something sits in a slow cooker for approximately 12 hours, it's pretty mushy by the time you eat it. I'll definitely be trying more recipes and working to utilize our slow cooker more often over the winter months, but it won't be an every day kind of thing.

Tonight we had Autumn Harvest Minestrone soup. Last night it was raining and cold...and I was a little disappointed I didn't have that soup. I had even planned on making it for Wednesday but time got away from me Tuesday evening and I didn't have time to prep all the veggies needed for this. So as fate would have it, artichoke pasta was called up to Wednesday and minestrone got bumped to Thursday. This was the best mistake the week could have offered.

I got off work late tonight and we still had to get in our 5 mile run (gotta stay on track with our training) so we didn't even start our run until just before 7:00. It's almost winter. It's almost pitch black outside at 7:00. Add in the dropping temperatures, and I was so thankful to come home to a nice, hot bowl of soup. This was pretty good and I will definitely make it again. Although I might have to adjust some of the ingredients, because frankly, I officially hate peeling butternut squash.

Autumn Harvest Minestrone
serves 6
from Prevention Magazine (very slightly adapted to my recipe below)

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (4 cups) fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
3 C (1 lb) butternut squash chunks-I bought 1 large squash and had leftovers
1 can diced tomatoes
1 med turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 med parsnip, peeled, quartered at the large end, and sliced 1/4" thick
1 rib celery, sliced 1/4" thick
2 C bagged coleslaw mix
1 lg leek (white and light green parts), sliced --this was the first time I'd used leek. I had to watch a video on YouTube on how to cut it up.
1 tsp minced garlic

Throw all ingredients in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until veggies are tender.

The magazine had a recipe for some "basil sauce" (aka: pesto) to add as a soup topping, but I opted not to make this. Mostly because I didn't want to clean my food processor.

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