Thursday, March 24, 2016

Minestrone Soup for the first week of Spring

The first week of Spring and we are getting colder temperatures. I'm not complaining because I know some had blizzard conditions - blizzards! - in late March! But it's still cooler here than I expected. So I made soup. That's always good, any time of year. Instead of snow we have pollen and I can tell you, it's very bad here in North Florida. The nasty yellow dust covers everything, including my throat. This time the pollen got me good.....and so.....that's where a hot nourishing bowl of soup is a perfect lunch.

You'll notice the soup doesn't have the identifiable macaroni noodles floating around. There is a reason for that and I learned another lesson in the kitchen through cooking with gluten free noodles.


When I make mac and cheese using gluten free noodles the product stays intact. But dumping a handful into a slow cooker breaks then down to their basic elements - rice flour and corn. It looks like white grits with all the usual Minestrone ingredients. It was still delicious and we've had it twice this week for work lunches. The texture was a surprise though.

Here's the recipe............

Minestrone Soup

1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sausage, cut into small pieces (leva it out to make a vegetarian soup)
2 TB tomato paste
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
at least 3 TB minced garlic
1 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon oregano
1 can (16 oz.) chopped canned tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1 can small red beans with liquid from the can
2 cups cut zucchini, in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup pasta (I used small Gluten Free macaroni noodles)
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in saute pan and brown sausage.
Add tomato paste, cook 5 minutes until brown.
Add onions, celery, garlic, carrots and oregano. Cook about 5 minutes.

Pour in slow cooker (crock pot) and add tomatoes and chicken stock.
Cook on low setting for 6 or 7 hours.

Stir in beans, zucchini and cooked pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Serve with Parmesan and a crusty French or Cuban loaf of bread.

This is a very filling soup and we will take it for lunches this week, combined with a side of yogurt.

Now, my variation to the instructions above was to start the soup before realizing it was a slow cooker recipe, thus resulting in cooking overnight on the low setting.

Linking up to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday and with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.



  1. That looks really good.

    It's cold here in west central Florida too, and the pollen is such a pain. Our cars are a mess, and I don't like a dirty car at all.

  2. I've been a sneezing fool here in central PA. :( Interesting about the noodles in the slow cooker. I agree that soup can be perfect for helping with the sinuses.

  3. Yum, I love slow cooker soups. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. It does look like a perfect nourishing bowl of goodness. That's so interesting about the GF noodles. I guess I have not tried them in a slow cooker before--good to know. (It reminds me of the soup with polenta I am making this weekend.) ;-)

    Thanks for sharing your minestrone at Souper Sundays this week!

  5. That's a really solid looking soup. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  6. How can pollen be everywhere all at once? Soup sounds like a good remedy.

    best... mae at

  7. Weather in Kansas has been crazy lately - 70s one day and 40s the next. This is a recipe I'd like to try on one of those cold days.

  8. Minestrone - yum. Who doesn't love it?

  9. One of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Looks really yum!


Welcome and thank you so much for visiting! I appreciate all your comments and feedback. If I don't respond to you here, I will via email or on your blog. If you want to reach me right away please email me at tmculbertson AT gmail DOT com. Cheers!!

Nana's Chicken Casserole <br> {Convenience foods from the pantry}</br>

I was going through some recipes I had saved years back and came across one called Nana's Chicken Casserole.  It was from a former co-wo...