Dump-and-Go Minestrone

As hard as I have tried, I have been unable to keep the sickness that’s going around out of my house.  Thing 2 brought it home.  Schools….the breeding ground for all manner of cold/flu/ickiness.  The Marine Corps Marathon is right around the corner – 13 days! – and I do NOT need her sharing her germs with me.  So, short of putting her in a plastic bubble or me moving out, I’ve decided to buy stock in Lysol and make soup every night for the next 2 weeks.  Ha!  Just kidding.  Who’s got money to buy stock?!  Okay, seriously, we’re not having soup for the next two weeks but that would certainly be an adventure if we were!  Anyway, it seemed the perfect time to try a minestrone recipe from my new Abs Diet Cookbook.  Surprised that it didn’t come from my Crockpot cookbook?  Yeah, so was I – especially considering it’s a crockpot recipe.  It’s creatively called “Dump and Go Minestrone.”  I really think they could have come up with a better name than that but the idea is accurate – open cans, dump contents into crockpot, turn crockpot on, and go.  Gotta like that!

I’ve made quite a few minestrone soups in my day – some better than others – and this one goes on my good list.  I left out the spinach because I didn’t have any and didn’t have time to stop at the store on the way home but I don’t think the recipe missed it….nor do I think Thing 2 missed it.  (Seriously, what kind of mom would I be if I made a healing soup and stuck a vegetable in there that my kid really would prefer to NOT eat?  I’m not trying to win the “worst mom ever” award!)   I also used 6 oz pasta instead of a whole package as the recipe called for and that is definitely a good thing because I’m not sure where the other half of that pasta would have gone!  My crockpot was super full already!  Healthy, healing chicken broth, protein packed beans, whole wheat pasta and more all in one easy to pull together meal guaranteed to make even the sickest of teenagers feel a little bit better – it’s like Mom in a crockpot!  🙂

Dump-and-Go Minestrone

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cans (16 ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth

1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

5 large carrots, thinly sliced

1 cup diced celery

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 package whole wheat rotini or similar pasta

1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1.  Dump all of the ingredients, except pasta and spinach, into a large slow cooker.  Stir to mix.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

2.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Add the pasta and spinach to the cooker and stir. Turn up to high and cook for 10 minutes.

Makes 10 servings

Per serving: 247 calories; 7g protein; 46g carbohydrates; 1g fat (0.5g saturated); 364mg sodium; 8g fiber