Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vegetable Beef Soup

Well, it finally came. 

Snow. 

It was inevitable, and I have to admit the first snow of the season is always pretty. But, it's so dang cold now...  

And thank goodness that Artic blast mostly went even further north of us. The folks in Minneapolis got hammered, over 8-9". Heh heh, we only got about 1-2". But, they like alot of snow in Minne-soooo-ta. 

Just because it is so cold, I am fully immersed in SOUP SEASON ! The 'ol slow cooker is getting a work out now. 

This soup is a beaut! It can be slow-cooked or made in less than 40 minutes(prep included). Plus, shhhh....it's really good for you. Chock full of vitamins and veggies, lean protein. 

It's actually making my mouth water...

  

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced  
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3 links Chicken Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 tbsn Olive Oil
1 14 oz. can tomato puree ( I used my own from the garden that I freeze)
1 14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water  
2 cups baby kale (mine is frozen), or 2 cups chopped regular kale
3/4 cup small pasta (elbows, ditalini, pepperini...etc.,)
Salt and pepper to taste.   

Directions:

  1. Dice the onion, the carrots and mince the garlic. Take the casings off of the sausage. 
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Saute the onions and carrots first, seasoning with a pinch of salt, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir 1 minute until fragrant. 
  3. Add the sausage, brown and crumble it, until cooked through, 8-10 minutes more. 
  4. Add tomatoes, broth and water. Stir, then add in chickpeas and Kale.  Taste and season with salt ( you may not need anymore) and about a 1/2 tsp pepper.
  5. Cook and simmer another 10 minutes then add in pasta. Cook until tender, about another 10 minutes,serve with grated Parmesan if you choose.    
**To make this in the slow cooker, brown off the sausage, with the onions and garlic and throw everything into the slow cooker (except pasta). Cook on low for 6-8, on high for 3-4. the last 30 minutes add in the pasta and cook until tender.