Thursday, October 21, 2010



Now that fall is here (and I say it is, despite the 89 degree days we are having).  Speaking of which, does anyone else find it challenging to dress for fall?!  Last week I had bus duty, outside in the morning.  It was in the lower 40’s!  But then when I left for work, it was in the upper 80’s!  How does one dress to accommodate a 40 degree change?! 

Even with all the crazy temperatures, there is one thing I don’t have to think about and that is soup.  It is time for soup.  I am ready for soup.  I am embracing my soup loving soul. 

I began with Minestrone from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann.  Minestrone is a classic and like all classics, with good reason.  It’s good.  It’s so good, I didn’t even miss the meat, and as a confirmed meat lover, that is saying something.  Made pretty much as written, except that I added a Parmesan cheese rind, because I always do.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, trimmed and cubed
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained, with 1/2 the beans mashed (I used my freezer stash)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leave, chopped
  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, mashed, with their juice
  • One 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 5 leaves Swiss chard, chopped or 1/2 small head of Napa cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup elbow macaroni or little shells
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, celery and zucchini and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to the slow cooker and add everything except the Swiss chard, wine, and pasta.  Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Add the chard and wine and continue to cook on low for another 2 to 3 hours.  Remove the bay leaf.

Stir in the pasta and cook on high until the pasta is tender – about 30 minutes.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6


This will be my entry for Souper Sundays (Soup, Salad, or Sammie) hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.


Cookbook used:


Joanne said...

I think the problem is that no one should be allowed to be up that early in the morning. then you wouldn't even KNOW about the 40 degree switch.

But yes. i love fall in every way except for this whole clothing thing.

Great soup! Minestrone is such a comfort food for me...

chellebelle said...

The soup looks wonderful! As to the dressing for the change in Temp? Well... this is the reason that Oregonians have the stereo type of always wearing flannel... because we layer a sweater, or a flannel shirt for the morning, and take it off in the afternoon... This is really normal. It's 39 degrees right now.. It is supposed to be 73 ish by 2:00 pm. That is our normal thing.. with or without rain

Melynda said...

Hi Pam,
The Minestrone looks delicious, I have that book, maybe I should look in there again.

I think there are small segments of each new season where it is impossible to dress accordingly, sometimes it is easier to layer and remove.

hip-chick said...

We do soup on Tuesday nights because it works well with our work schedules. Your minestrone looks good but all your recipes look good.

La Table De Nana said...

I always add rind:) Never wine..Sounds like a plan!

Kalyn said...

I know just what you mean about the temperature changes during the day. I never know what to wear when the seasons change.

This looks just like my mother's minestrone, and now I'm wondering why I've never made it!

Lynda said...

I love Minestone, and I'm a meatlover too. Yours looks wonderful!
Fall is my favorite season, but it is hard to dress. You always need a jacket in the mornings.

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

I hear you about the difference in temps from am to pm in autumn, it's the same here. I think dressing in layers is the only solution... and kind of a pain.

This Minestrone looks delicious and hearty, I hope to try it soon. Of course your beautiful photo sold me. :)

Do you like Beth's Slow Cooker cookbook? It's been in my cart at amazon for a while now as I'm on the fence about it.

Thanks for sharing, Pam! xo~m

June said...

Great looking soup Pam! Tiz the season here too thank goodness. We actually had a cool day yesterday (73) which is cause for celebration.

Marjie said...

Did you save me some for lunch? Because I'm hungry, and this looks divine!

Pam said...

It's cool and rainy today - this would be perfect for dinner!

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

This time of year it's about dressing in layers, I guess, but I know what you mean about not knowing what to wear.

LOVE soup recipes. Keep 'em coming!

Chanel11 said...

I always need to use up Parmesan rinds, now I have another recipe to add it to :)

grace said...

quality. and yes, it's been a toss-up as to whether i need a coat and toboggan or if shorts and a tee will suffice. :)

Chris said...

Yep, crazy weather here in East TN these days. Frost at night and hot during the day, our poor HVAC doesn't know what to do!

But the minestrone sounds wonderful.

Lea Ann said...

It's a hassle, but layer up Pam. It's been the same here in Colorado. Heater runs during the night and AC all day. I love minestrone soup! I have those sasme bowls, don't they make great little soup bowls!

Debinhawaii said...

A great classic soup--perfect for fall. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. I look forward to seeing more soups from you. ;-)