Winter vegetable minestrone
Keywords: family, healthy eating, parenting
Break out your slow cooker and try a hearty minestrone this winter. You can mix and match the veggies if you need to cater for any fussy little stomachs.
- 2 cups (1 packet) of dried soup mix (e.g. McKenzie’s Italian or similar) – rinsed under running water
- 1 ham hock (optional)
- 1 parsnip, diced
- 1 potato
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced (alternatively 1 orange, 1 purple carrot)
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 tbs garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp chilli, crushed
- 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 400g can chopped tomatoes (optional – italian tomatoes with herbs)
- 170g tomato paste
- 1 cup of macaroni
- 1 litre beef stock
- 6 cups of boiling water
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- salt/pepper to taste
Serving garnish options:
- shaved parmesan cheese
- flat leaf parsley
- Add rinsed dried soup mix and ham hock to the slow cooker. Bring beef stock and 2 cups of water to the boil in a saucepan and add to slow cooker. Cook on high setting for 3-4 hours.
- Take ham hock out and remove skin. Chop the meat into small pieces and put back into the slow cooker.
- In a fry pan, heat olive oil and sautee parsnip, potato, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chilli and parsley until tender, but not coloured. Stir in can of tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock powder and ground pepper to taste.
- Add fry pan ingredients to the slow cooker along with remaining 4 cups of boiling water and macaroni. Stir well. (Add salt to taste if required here, but there should be enough with the stock and stock powder).
- Change setting to slow and cook until veges are soft and pasta is cooked. 2-3 hours.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of shaved parmesan and whole flat leaf parsley
- Serve with warm, crusty bread. Serves 6-8.
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