In recent years my inner foodie has emerged and I have gotten more into cooking for my family and trying new and different flavors. So I thought it would be fun to start a new series on our blog “Colbsta Cooks” to share with you different recipes that I have tried and liked or my go-to stand bys that we eat week after week.
I figured a perfect time to start this would be fall…aww comfort foods! The air is crisp and chilly and nothing tastes better than a hot, hearty soup! If you’re like me, any dinner that can be made ahead of time in the slow cooker is simply amazing! For all you mamas out there you can prep dinner during nap time, or if you’re heading to work prep it in the morning and cook it on the slower option and come dinner time the food is ready to go, not to mention your house smells heavenly all day! I thought I would start this series off with one of my go-to meals for our family: Minestrone Soup with Sausage. The best part about this meal is it makes a huge portion, so there is plenty left over for lunches or additional dinners throughout the week!
I start by getting out all the ingredients I need to chop…3 carrots, 2 stalks of celery (these ones were half sized so I used 4), 1 white onion, 1 zuchini and 2 sausage links. I used Chicken Apple sausage.
Chop, chop, chop…set the zucchini aside for later.
Throw the chopped carrots, celery, onions and sausage into the slow cooker.
Now for the rest of the ingredients…
Add 1 can white (cannellini or navy) beans drained and 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes to your slow cooker.Then add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, Salt and ground black pepper (to taste) and 2 bay leaves. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add pasta, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes.
Meanwhile, I love to serve this with big slices of crusty whole grain bread. I normally toast it in the oven on 400 for 10-15 minutes. I serve it with either blueberry jam or apple butter.
When ready to eat, remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper if needed. Ladle soup into bowls. David likes a sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. I personally doctor mine up with a little drizzle of olive oil and cracked sea salt. Mmmm!
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 Sausage Links
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 bay leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups dry campanelle pasta
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
In a slow cooker, combine carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, beans, broth, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add pasta, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish as desired.