Well, the weather is getting cooler, so that means soup weather!  I was craving it this week, so I used my handy slow cooker.  I used the 4 quart pot (it has a 2 and 6 quart also).   I was planning to have an easy day, but it got super busy.  Thankfully, the cooker did all the work and I took all the credit!  And I froze the extra for even quicker meals in the next few weeks!  We enjoyed this dinner with a salad and some fresh Italian bread.

1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped (I only used 1/4 cup)
1 celery stalk, chopped, optional
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed (cannellini or navy) or 2 cups cooked beans
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 oz chuck of parmesan rind
1 rosemary sprig (or 1 tsp dried)
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 pound frozen meatballs, optional
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 box elbow or shell pasta, cooked al dente
extra parmesan cheese for top

  1. To ease preparation in the morning, chop all vegetables the evening before and assemble.
  2. Combine vegetables, beans, broth, tomatoes, parmesan rind, herbs, meatballs, salt and pepper in slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. 30 minutes prior to serving, add zucchini.
  5. Prior to serving, remove parmesan rind, rosemary sprig, and bay leaves.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve over pasta and top with extra parmesan cheese.

slow cooker