Monday, August 10, 2009

Mmmmm Minestrone (by Alice)

Mmmmm...doesn't this Minestrone look good? My kitchen smells simply wonderful because this luscious chowder has been simmering happily in my crockpot all day. Too hot for soup you say? Oh, but my kitchen is nice and cool and a simple meal of chowder and rolls is just perfect! My dear sister Alice gave me this recipe and it instantly became a huge hit. It is loaded with fresh vegetables (or frozen during the off season) like zuchinni, green beans, carrots, onions, and celery! Now she says she has no creative talent, but I disagree, because the girl can COOK! If she ever offers you dinner or sends over a tray of homemade enchiladas because you had a really long, stressful day at work and she knew you didn't have a moment to fix anything so rather than freezing them for her own family for another day, she opts to send them up the hill to your house...TAKE THEM! When the 8 year old, somewhat picky person in your family eats 4 of know they are good! Thanks sis, I owe you!
I digress.
Here's the recipe, but get your biggest crockpot, because this will fill it to the top! But man, oh, man the leftovers taste every bit as good. My dear hubby, will eat this chowder 3 lunches in a row!
My Sister Alice's Minestrone
2 lbs bulk pork (or Italian) sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium leek, white portion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium zucchinis, cut into ½” pieces
6 c. beef broth
2 cans (14oz) fire roasted tomatoes
¼ lb fresh green beans, cleaned chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp black pepper
1 can white northern beans, drained
1 c. uncooked small pasta(less if you want soup)
3 T. minced fresh parsley
½ c. barley
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
Optional (1 cup shredded cabbage)
In soup kettle, cook sausage and onion until meat is not pink, drain. Stir in other vegetables and cook for 3 minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients, except beans, barley, cheese. and pasta. Cook in large crockpot on low 6-7 hours. Add pasta, beans, and barley the last ½ hour of cooking. Garnish with grated cheese. (This makes a VERY large crockpot of soup 10-12 servings)
If you make it let me know how you like it!

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