Easy Minestrone Soup

Winter is upon us and there is nothing I like better on a cold evening than a good bowl of soup. Running a B&B keeps one busy during the day so it can be hard to plan for meals in the evening. I have found that my slow cooker is invaluable this time of year. I can get the ingredients prepped the evening before, in the cooker early in the morning and with a little adding of ingredients in the late afternoon have a warm and nourishing meal for our supper. I hope you will enjoy this soup recipe.

MINESTRONE SOUP

1 pound stew beef – cut into 1 – inch cubes
2 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion – cut into thin rings or 1/4 inch pieces
8 cups water
1 beef bouillon cube
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 medium zucchini – cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 – 16 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup uncooked medium size shell macaroni

Combine first 9 ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

Add the remaining four ingredients, turn slow cooker to HIGH, cover and cook for an additional hour.

A Note: I often find that the zucchini doesn’t cook to a soft enough consistency (for my taste) in the last hour so I will cook the zucchini for a short time in the microwave before adding it to the slow cooker. If you plan to make the soup a day ahead, let it rest for a day and then reheat the next day there is no need to precook the zucchini.

Add some fresh Parmesan cheese atop the soup in the bowl, serve with some crusty bread and ENJOY!!

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