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!
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