Note: It’s been a long while since I promised you folks a few of my favorite recipes, so I’ve decided to start making good on that promise.
Winter is closing in on us here in the northern hemisphere, and to me that means soup, soup, and more soup! I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m currently following the GAPS protocol for health reasons, which means that I’m making 100% of my meals from scratch (for those of you unfamiliar with GAPS, it’s similar to Paleo but without the sweet potatoes and other starchy veggies). And since I work full-time, I rely heavily on my Crock Pot for help in the meal department, soup or otherwise.
This particular recipe springs from my love of Olive Garden’s minestrone soup. I’m not promising that it tastes exactly the same, but it certainly hits the spot when the craving hits, and it’s full of lots of nutritious goodies. So, without further ado, here it is:
1 qt. beef stock or broth (homemade is best, but a good-quality store-bought will work)
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, or 1 qt. homemade canned tomatoes
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cubed
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 onion (any color), chopped
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 T Italian seasoning (optional)
1 T sea salt
1 bay leaf
2 T animal fat or coconut oil (optional–see below)
- Place stock or broth, tomatoes, and all vegetables and spices into a 7-qt. slow cooker.
- You may choose to add the stew meat as is (raw), or you may brown it first in a heavy skillet with the optional 2 T of animal fat or coconut oil. (I’ve never had a problem with placing uncooked stew meat in directly, but if this makes you uncomfortable, please follow your instincts.)
- Once all ingredients are in your slow cooker, stir well to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
That’s really all there is to it! This recipe is really great for making overnight, and the smell is absolutely heavenly to wake up to in the morning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!