Monday, January 06, 2014

Slow Cooker Garden Minestrone

Yields 8 servings
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

1 Large onion, white minced
4 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Tbls oil, extra virgin olive plus extra for serving
1 1/2 tsp oregano, fresh minced
1/8 tsp pepper, crushed red 
6 Cups stock, vegetable OR chicken, low-sodium 
15 Ounce(wt)s sauce, tomato 
6 1/2 Ounce(wt)s beans, great northern, dried picked over
2 Large carrots peeled, cut in 1/2-in pieces
1 Large squash, zucchini 1/4 length, slice 1/4-in thick
8 Ounce(wt)s Swiss chard stemmed, leaves sliced 1/2-in
1/2 Cup pasta, ditalini 
1/2 Cup basil, fresh minced
1 to taste salt and pepper 
1 to taste cheese, parmesan, grated for serving 

Tools Needed:
Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

Salt soak the beans: Pick through and rinse the beans. For every pound of beans, dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts of boiling water . Combine the beans and the hot salt water in a large pot and let the beans soak at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the beans, discarding the soaking liquid, and rinse well before cooking. 

Microwave onion, garlic, oil, oregano, and red pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. 

Stir broth, tomato sauce, soaked beans, and carrots into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high. 

Stir in zucchini, chard, and pasta, cover and cook on high until vegetables and pasta are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in basil, salt & pepper to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese and extra olive oil.

Serve with: Rosemary Onion Focaccia