Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Make Mine Minestrone


It's cold this week. And colder weather is coming! Just the thought makes me crave soup. And this recipe arrived in my email this morning from Weight Watchers. Some of their recipes are very good whether you are counting points or not. This looked like it was worth a try. I made a few minor changes to use what I had on hand (I'm still on a "use it up" kick here) like onion for leek and canned green beans for fresh, but I didn't stray far from the original. At least I didn't stray far in the ingredient list—but I cooked mine on the stove top because today that fit my schedule better.

So before I left the house this morning, I had soup for supper, soup to share and soup to freeze. The small taste I had when the soup was done makes me happy to think it will be waiting on me tonight when I get home from handbell practice!

SLOW COOKER MINESTRONE

1 (32-oz. carton) low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14-1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/basil, garlic & oregano
2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 (19-oz.) can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 (8-oz.) can green beans, drained
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except olive oil, salt & cheese in a 4-quart crockpot and cook on LOW for about 6 hours, until vegetables are tender. Stir in oil and salt. Sprinkle with Parmesan just before serving.

OR, YOU CAN COOK IT LIKE I DID—Combine all ingredients except oil, salt & Parmesan cheese in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in oil and salt. Sprinkle with Parmesan just before serving.

Serves 8 (about 1-1/2 cup each)  WW PointsPlus per serving: 4

The recipe says that it freezes well and suggests doubling the recipe, using a 6-quart cooker to make extra. I always wonder about freezing a soup with potatoes in it but I'm going to freeze a single-serving bowl to see how it tastes when I thaw it. I'll let you know how it goes.  NOTE: THIS DID NOT FREEZE WELL—at least by my standards—mushy vegetables.


On the grandmother front, I got to chat with Baby Sister today while having lunch with other family. Can you imagine? Sitting at Chick Fil A and being able to see and talk to Baby Sister halfway across the country! Amazing. Love my gadgets.

UPDATE:  After making this soup and dividing it into portions to share, I found that I only had 6 servings instead of 8. I measured out 1-1/2 cup portions and I did measure every ingredient, so I'm not sure how they got 8 (1-1/2 cup) servings. And, yes, it was yummy. If you are counting points six portions will mean 5 points per 1-1/2 cup serving.

I feel like the person who measured the footlong subs last week and discovered they were only 11 inches.

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