Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crockpot Wheat Berry and Turkey Sausage Minestrone


First off...I apologize for the lag in postings.  We had out of town visitors this weekend, and that kept me busy cooking and entertaining...but not much time to work on getting recipes ready for this week.  Lots of good food and good company was had though!  So today, I am back with an easy crockpot soup recipe.

Seems kind of late in the spring for soup to me, I am pretty much a soup in the cold months kind of gal....but eeeegads....Spring is having the hardest time arriving and sticking around this part of the country!  It was rainy yesterday, and I don't think it even made it out of the 40's all day...so it was actually a perfect day for soup.



I found this minestrone recipe on WW online.  You can find the original recipe HERE.  I made a few changes in that I cooked the wheat berries on the stove top and then once they were just about cooked, added them to the soup because I cooked the soup on HIGH for 5 hours, instead of on LOW for 8 as the original recipe called for.  I just did it this way, because I got the soup started late.  I imagine, you could  make this entire recipe on the stove top too!

If you are new to cooking wheat berries, they are super simple to make and very delicious.  They have a bit of a bite that adds a bit of interest to the texture of this soup.  They do, however, take a long time to cook ( 1 1/2 to 2 hours of low simmer to get soft enough ) but contrary to some popular beliefs, do not need to be soaked overnight like beans.  I wasn't sure the shorter crockpot cooking time would be adequate to properly cook them,  so that is why I cooked them on the stove top.   I also added a little bit of cooked turkey sausage toward the end of cooking.  The recipe was originally written to be meatless, as most minestrones are, but I had some turkey sausage I wanted to use up.  The point plus value of the soup does not change if you use sausage that is 3 p+ per 3 oz. serving. We loved the flavor the sausage gave the soup, but it is up to you whether you want to use it or not.  This is a flavorful soup on in it's own right, even without the added sausage. 


Crockpot Wheat Berry and Turkey Sausage Minestrone
adapted from WW Online

Servings - 12   Serving Size - approx. 1 cup   Points Plus per svg - 3 points+ ( the addition of 6 oz. of turkey sausage- one that is 3p+ per 3 oz. serving-  to the soup did not change pp values...it remains 3p+)
Nutritional info for soup WITHOUT sausage:  Calories - 116,   Total Fat - 0.3g,   Carb. - 23.1g,   Protein - 5.7g,   Fiber - 5.5g
Nutritional info for soup WITH sausage:  Calories - 139,   Total Fat - 1.7g,   Carb. - 23.1g,   Protein - 8.2,   Fiber - 5.5g

28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, reduced sodium
3 cups of vegetable broth or low fat chicken broth, reduced sodium
3 cups of cut green beans, frozen
15 1/2 oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained ( I used the white ones ) 
1 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 cup onion, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on diagonal
2 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
1 1/2 cups raw wheat berries
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
1 1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
6 oz. turkey cooked turkey sausage ( optional ) 
squirt of lemon or a TBS of any vinegar

1.  Combine all ingredients except turkey sausage and lemon juice or vinegar in 5 - 6 quart crockpot.  Stir to combine.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours or until wheat berries are cooked through and the vegetables are tender.  ( Add in cooked sausage, if using, about a half and hour to an hour before cooking time is done) 

2.  Stir in lemon juice or vinegar and adjust salt and pepper seasonings to taste.  Serve hot and garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. 


Like I had mentioned...I had a weekend with a bit more indulging than I should have.  Seems like making a big batch of low point soup is a good way to start the week and help get me back on track.  Plenty of soup left over for lunches this week...which will be a great at helping me stay on track.  Do you have any "go to" foods to help get you back on track? 

I also want to send out a BIG thank you to Nicole from HeatOvento 350 for choosing MyKitchenAdventures as one of her favorite new blogs and awarding it with a Versatile Blogger Award!  Check out her blog for some amazing recipes and photos!  I am going to have to think about what 7 random facts I want to share and what 15 blogs I want to highlight...but promise to have it done by week's end! 

Sharing this post with Hearth and Soul Tuesday Blog Hop

8 comments:

  1. I totally hear you! We have guests in town for about two weeks straight. Craziness. The soup looks good. I like certain soups even when its hot out. I've never put wheat berries in soup though- I totally want to try this

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  2. Hi Renee, glad you are back, but REALLY glad you had a good time with your visitors. Great looking recipe, thanks!! Have a good Tuesday.

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  3. I like stews and soups even in the summer weather. It's COMFORTING and you can make large batches.
    This looks delicious! I was just craving sausage earlier today :D

    Hope you had a great weekend.

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  4. That soup sounds really well and a nice change from the WW soup. I love to use the crockpot as often as possible. Congrats on the award I have received it before and it is hard to think of 15 people so I just offered it to any of the wonderful bloggers who visit me. It worked out well.

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  5. I am a huge fan of soup. Like you it is usually a Winter time food but the weather has remained quite chilly here and I am still enjoying soup.

    This one looks like a winner! I don't think I have made wheat berries before. Thank you for giving us so much information about them. I love learning about new foods and how to prepare them.

    What program do you use to figure the nutritional information? I have Mastercook 11 software and I'm really starting to like it. It was difficult to figure out in the beginning but I am finally feeling comfortable with it.

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  6. I am not a huge fan of fennel, but never tried fennel seeds - it looks delicious!!

    The first time I lost 70 pounds on WW, the zero point soups were a god send - I probably had three cups of it a day - and its a great way to get veggies in! :D

    Happy Wednesday Renee!

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  7. Yum! This sounds amazing. I have a ton of wheat berries and this is a great way to use them. And seriously, WTH is spring?!?!?! :)

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  8. Delicious healthy soup.love healthy soup a lot. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

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