When the weather starts turning chilly, I find myself wanting to reach for a warm bowl of this comforting, Italian-inspired soup!
This savory recipe is loaded with delicious flavor and nutrients… perfect for a chilly evening when you’re craving the comfort of a homemade meal.
The best part is that the recipe goes together so quickly.
Just start it in the morning and let it simmer all day in your crock pot. You’ll have a delicious, healthy, no-fuss supper!
- 1 ½ tsp olive oil
- 1/2 lbs to 1 lb meat (I use whatever I have on hand: ground beef or venison)
- optional: about 2 C chopped Italian sausage (nitrate-free chicken or beef sausage are yummy)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 or 4 large carrots, chopped
- a few stalks of celery, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini or squash, chopped
- 1 few leaves fresh greens (or about 1 C frozen)- spinach and Swiss chard are our favorites!
- 1 (28 ounce) can organic, chunky tomato sauce
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
- 2 C cooked beans (pinto, black, kidney, or a combination)
- 1 ½ tsp oregano
- 2 tsp thyme
- dash black pepper
- 1 C quinoa or brown rice, uncooked
- Parmesan or Romano cheese
Brown meat in a cast iron skillet over medium heat; add onions, carrots, celery, crushed tomatoes and fresh garlic.
Transfer the cooked meat and vegetables to a crock pot. Add cooked beans, seasonings, and quinoa or rice.
Cover with 2 quarts of water or broth and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, or on low overnight.
Serve with a salad, rice crackers, or gluten-free garlic bread, and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Enjoy your little taste of Italy!