Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef Minestrone

INGREDIENTS: (see notes at bottom)

1 1/2 lbs Boneless Beef Chuck Roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

Flour, Salt & Pepper

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 leek, thinly sliced*

1 onion, diced*

3 carrots, diced*

1 celery stalk, diced*

1 green zuchini, diced*

1 russet potato, peeled & diced*

1 carton (32 oz) Beef Stock/Broth use low-sodium if you can

1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-Style Diced Tomatoes

1 24 oz jar Tomato Sauce

1/2 cup dry Ditalini Soup Pasta

1 can (15.5 oz) Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed

1 pkg (6 oz) Baby Spinach

1. Dust beef with flour seasoned w/ salt & pepper; pat off excess.

2. Heat oil in large pan on MEDIUM-HIGH until oil faintly smokes. Add beef; sear 10 min until all sides are brown.

3. Transfer beef to slow cooker; don't discard pan drippings.

4. Add vegetables to pan with beef drippings; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 3 min; add to slow cooker.

5. Add stock, tomatoes, and sauce to slow cooker. Cover, cook 4 1/2 -6 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on LOW.

6. Add dry pasta and beans 30 minutes before end of cooking on HIGH (45 minutes before end of cooking on LOW). ***

7. Add spinach to slow cooker; stir to blend well. Allow spinach to lightly wilt, about 2 min

* Wegman sells a 16oz pkg called "Cleaned & Cut Minestrone Soup Vegetables" that you can use in place of all the starred ingredients. I used my own, because the packages looked bad the day I was there.

*** I cooked the pasta earlier in the day and then just added it to each bowl of soup so the pasta wouldn't get too overdone. This worked well.

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