Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

We are in day eleven of the Dormition Fast. I was originally hoping to blog about a vegan-friendly food item every day for the first fourteen days of August during this fasting cycle…As you can see, I am eleven days late.

I have featured this Taste of Home third place winner as a great vegan/Lenten dinner/main course item. It is delicious and kid friend (thank you soft veggies and squiggly noodles!).

GET YOUR CROCK POT OUT, FRIEND!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Makes: 10 servings (3.75 quarts)

Ingredients:

  • 4 stalks Swiss Chard (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (if you are going Lenten, try to saute with water)
  • 1 medium red onion (finely chopped)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (16 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium yellow squash or zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium sweet red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups uncooked spiral pasta (as you can see from the main picture, I add the whole package of noodles, because that is what my kid likes to eat)
  • 1/4 pesto (optional)

1. Cut stems from chard; chop stems and leaves separately. Reserve leaves for adding later. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat (or water for Lenten season). Add onion and chard stems; cook and stir 3-5 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a 6 quart slow cooker.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, squash, pepper, carrot, and garlic. Cook, covered, on low 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in pasta and reserved chard leaves. Cook, covered, on low 20-25 minutes longer or until pasta is tender. Top servings with pesto (i don’t use the pesto and it tastes great).

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