Sunday, September 20, 2009

End of Summer Harvest Soup



By this point, unless you're a new reader, it's no secret that I love my crock pot. I've already used it a few times since the start of the school year (we've been in 4 weeks already) and I honestly just adore it. I'm always on the hunt for new recipes and I really enjoy coming home to a finished meal. Some might counter that crockpot cooking "isn't really cooking", but I disagree. I'm still making dinner, and it's no one's fault but my own when dinner is a flop whether it's on the stove or in my crock pot.

I saw this at the end of August on Crockpot 365, and I wanted to make it ASAP. I didn't really care that I was making soup on September 1st, and it was warm and filling and delicious. I could go on (and I will) but see my notes for my...well, notes.

End of Summer Harvest Soup
(Adapted from The Crockpot Lady)

1 lb. Italian sausage, crumbled
Salt and pepper
1 T. olive oil
3 c. chicken stock
1 c. chicken broth
1 14 oz. jar prepared pasta sauce (I used tomato & basil)
1 onion, diced
4 zucchini, cleaned and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2 summer squash, cleaned and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. dried Italian seasoning
1/3 c. dried red kidney beans, rinsed

Season sausage with salt and pepper. Brown sausage in olive oil and transfer to slow cooker. Pour chicken stock and broth into slow cooker and add pasta sauce. Add zucchini, squash, onion, and tomatoes to slow cooker. Throw in the beans and season well. Give it all a big stir to combine.

Cook on low for 10 hours, or until beans have reached desired tenderness. Serve with pasta or crusty Italian bread.

Notes:
  • This is so, so wonderful to come home to, and I love that it combines some of my favorite summer vegetables. The tomatoes really burst open and released some great flavors, and the zucchini was melt-in-your-mouth tender.
  • I forgot to serve this with pasta. If you use wheat-free or gluten-free pasta, add it about 20 minutes before you're ready to serve. If you use the regular stuff, I'd suggest cooking it first and adding it to the soup as you're serving or it will turn into a mushy mess. Ew.
  • I added the Italian sausage as a protein for the soup, and I'm glad I did. It paired perfectly and added a little "sumpthin sumpthin" to the meal.
  • If you have a homemade marinara you'd prefer to use...go ahead. I went with the jar of pasta sauce because it was easier to add in the morning over making pasta sauce the night before.

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