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In the Summer I Still Love My Slow Cooker

 

While we all marvel at the summer weather before the first day of spring (this is at least my third post on the topic; read more here and here) I am honing my skills at cooking without turning the a/c on. It’s MARCH for crying out loud! I should still be sporting a light jacket with my flip flops, not kicking off the covers and sprawling across the bed while I’m trying to sleep.

I have thrown all the windows open and am refusing to turn the air on. In March. Because that’s wrong.

It’s very nice in here in the morning- I have yet to add a pile of ice cubes to my morning coffee cup- so I have decided that the morning is when I will be cooking dinner. For those that cannot be home to cook in the morning, this can all be done the night before. When it’s hot outside you can still be friends with your crock pot.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Pesto Soup

I found this recipe for Soupe Au Pistou (translation: a delicious pile of vegetables with a dollop of pesto on top) in the March 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine. Coarsely chop up carrots, gold potatoes (you need a variety that will hold up), onions, and zucchini. You could also add yellow squash or fresh green beans: draw your inspiration from what’s fresh and plentiful when you’re out and about.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Pesto Soup

Stir in a can of your favorite diced tomatoes,

Slow Cooker Vegetable Pesto Soup

Season with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper according to your taste and pour in 8 cups of water. Put the lid on and cook on low for 8 hours. Thirty-ish minutes before your soup is done, add one cup of uncooked soup-ey pasta (I used ditalini; I couldn’t find any alphabet or stars) and two 15 ounce cans of white beans.

Asparagus is my favorite spring vegetable. Trimmed and cut into two-inch pieces, if I were using asparagus, I’d add it now (because no one likes asparagus that’s mushy).

Replace the lid and continue slow-cooking for that last thirty minutes until your pasta is tender. Serve with a generous spoonful of pesto on top (you can purchase pesto already prepared or use your favorite recipe). Hot soup, cool house.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Pesto SoupFor a delicious (and simple) homemade pesto recipe CLICK HERE

Slow Cooker Vegetable Pesto Soup

Slow Cooker Vegetable Pesto Soup

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Slow Cooker Vegetable Pesto Soup is great all year round! Fresh summer veggies, white beans, and a dollop of pesto for a delicious vegetarian soup that won't heat up your house!

Ingredients

  • 4 medium carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4-5 cups of peeled and chopped boiling potatoes (I used Honey Gold)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into half-moons
  • 1 can of your favorite diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 cans drained and rinsed cannellini beans (really any beans would do)
  • 1 cup of dry soup-ey pasta (I used ditalini)
  • pesto- prepared or purchased ahead of time and added according to your taste

Instructions

  1. Add carrots, potatoes, onions, zucchini (along with any other veggies that hold up in a slow cooker; squash, fresh green beans...) and canned tomatoes to the crock of a large slow cooker.
  2. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir until all the veggies are well combined.
  3. Pour in 8 cups of water, cover and slow cook for 8 hours on low.
  4. About 30 minutes before the soup is done, add in the pasta, beans, and any other "soft" veggies you like (asparagus). Re-cover and continue cooking for that last thirty minutes
  5. Serve this veggie soup with a big spoonful of pesto on top!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 418 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 2mg Sodium: 405mg Carbohydrates: 85g Fiber: 12g Sugar: 9g Protein: 15g

(from Family Circle, March 2012)

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Jennifer @ http://jenniferskitchen.com/

Tuesday 26th of March 2013

This looks wonderful! I love cooking in my slow cooker; I use it almost every day - year round. Can't wait to try this. Thank you :)

Heather

Wednesday 27th of March 2013

Thanks, Jennifer! This is a good and EASY veggie soup recipe. Pesto makes everything better.

50 Crock Pot Soup Recipes | Sidetracked Sarah

Tuesday 16th of October 2012

[...] Vegetable Pesto Slow Cooker Soup [...]

thoughtsappear

Monday 2nd of April 2012

I use my slow cooker year round! Because I'm lazy. I live off soup and salads.

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Monday 2nd of April 2012

I am boycotting the air conditioner in March/April. I am also totally fascinated with preparing our evening meal at 10 am. I could survive solely on soup and salad, but my family might revolt. Gotta keep the peace. Thanks for stopping by!

creativenoshing

Thursday 22nd of March 2012

Looks delicious. I know how you feel with those hot days. I used to keep the windows cracked at night and shut them before I went to school/work, even closing the blinds and drapes, then when I would get home the temperature would not be so bad. And heaven forbid, cooking or drying clothes in the middle of the day. You are just asking for it then. Then you are down to tank tops and cut offs and the neighbors are looking at you like they might need to call the law on you... Okay, I took that joke a little too far :).

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Friday 23rd of March 2012

Nope. You're right on. Tank tops, cut offs, no shoes, hair tied in a mess of curly humidity infused knot on my head, and if I move to step out the door into the scorching sun Chad looks at me like, "you're going outside in THAT?!" And I just tell him he's jealous cause he can't wear cutoffs without looking like a Village People reject.

That window trick works though- it's the old reliable anti- a/c :) It's actually really beautiful here right now- nearly perfect. But I know the crunchy brown grass and water restrictions are coming. And I dread it.

Real Life Farm Wife

Wednesday 21st of March 2012

Though I rarely used my slow cooker before Farmer D & I got married, now I couldn't live without it...sure beats using the oven on a hot day.

And since I LOVE pesto, I will be trying this recipe!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Thursday 22nd of March 2012

I agree wholeheartedly. Let me know how it works out!!!