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............
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)
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.
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