Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup

I absolutely adore this soup. I came up with the idea two winters ago while we were snowed in and only had a few basic ingredients on hand. It was practically the blizzard of the century. There was no way we were venturing out into the storm. You can see some of action pics if you click here and this was before storm was half over. While it was a bit of a struggle to dig out, I get cozy just revisiting them. 2011 was a tough winter, but this lovely soup made the blizzard so much better.

If you are looking for a twist on traditional tomato soup, you will want to try this easy slow cooker recipe. It is even better with a side of yummy cheese bread:) If you prefer a thicker soup or "stewp" in the words of Rachel Ray, you can add less broth. To make it truly vegetarian, use vegetable broth or water.

Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz. cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup thawed chopped frozen spinach
Parmesan cheese for topping

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Drizzle the olive oil into the skillet and add the onion. Saute  stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until the onion begins to turn translucent in color. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute another 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Scrape the vegetable mixture into your slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Garnish with Parmesan cheese before serving.

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