Sunday, March 27, 2011

Who you callin' skinny?!

If you know me, you know that I'm always on the hunt for a solid recipe that I can work with for Mr. TL & I to enjoy. My friend K recently pointed out a fabulous food blog to me - Skinny Taste. The recipes all correlate to the Weight Watchers program fairly well and even if you're not following the program, it's nice to have a health filled recipe in your arsenal.

The recipes on Gina's blog for Crock Pot Minestrone Soup got my wheels turning. It's been unseasonably cool the past few weeks here in Little Rhody so a nice, hearty soup was just the trick. I adapted it slightly (subbing in dried for fresh herbs as well as switching up the additions of the recipe too). What we ended up with was a crock pot full of deliciousness that not only was a meal for Mr. TL & I on a cool night, but also served double duty as a freezer meal for the future (Note: I didn't add all of the pasta to the pot of soup. I placed a small bit of cooked pasta into our bowls, then ladled the soup over it. This way, the frozen soup, would not suffer a mushy pasta death when I go to reheat it!).

Crock Pot Sausage Minestrone Soup
(adapted from Gina's Skinny Taste)

1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can cannelini
3 cups fat free chicken broth
1 oz chunk of good Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
salt and fresh pepper
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
2 cups chopped frozen spinach
1/2 pound chicken sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 cups cooked small pasta like ditalini or elbows (al dente)
extra parmesan cheese to top

Rinse and drain beans. Mash beans in a small bowl (this helped to thicken my soup).

In a crock pot, combine broth, tomatoes, mashed beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, Parmesan cheese chunk, frozen spinach, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Forty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add squash and cooked sausage. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Add cooked pasta, cook 10 minutes more. Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with extra parmesan cheese.

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