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.