Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone.

I have a few bones to pick with the universe.

And by the universe, I mostly mean the weather. So totally cliche, right?

Wait. Oh wait. This is bad… I mean, really bad. That I’m talking about the weather again? I feel like a complete loser, but it might just be because the only real human interaction I’ve had over the last three days has been that weird middle-aged woman reading an audio book in multiple voices that are freaking me out and my mailman who was forced to bang on my door for like 14 straight minutes because I was blasting Paula Abdul’s Rush, Rush so loudly that I couldn’t hear a thing and he obviously knew someone was home. We’ve since developed a relationship of sorts.

Can either of those be considered human interaction? Please say yes. In other words, I perfected a zillion (literally, obviously) batches of whole wheat cinnamon rolls. Which would be amazing except for the whole having to eat a zillion batches of cinnamon rolls thing.

I think I’ll sleep on the treadmill tonight.

It’s just that right now it seems like we skipped right over Spring… went directly from winter to almost summer. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to go lie outside and toast myself like a crouton… but I’m kind of only into that if there is water around. In other words, my perfect temperature is say, 63 degrees. Maybe even a little lower. Why did we have to skip that lovely temp? I dig all the seasons and appreciate them for the time when they should be here (for, like a few months), but can this crazy climate start taking it’s meds. Can’t we just be normal for a hot sec, where it’s not 21 degrees last week and 81 inside my house yesterday?

I’m also wondering why must I find a pretty, watercolor pillow I like online at Anthropologie that costs about $500. Right next to the lamp with ugly birds on it that is also ludicrously priced. I’m pretty sure I could paint something similar to both with my eyes closed, so yeah, I may work on that today.

And why must cheese have calories? The least the universe could do is make the good stuff (like fontina) magically have LESS calories without resembling the lovely texture of plastic.

Oh and the biggest thing I’m so annoyed with right now is that lots of cute crop top type things are apparently back in style, like Kelly Kapowski type crop tops and I am most definitely too old to wear that stuff. But when they WERE in style before, I was way too young. The real question is why does the universe hate me?

To deal with the insanity that the clouds above are tossing our way, last week I made some soup that screamed springtime when it decided to snow after the first of April. Those are not my kind of April showers, but whatever. I had recently bought three bunches of super thin asparagus (my fave) and was going to shove spring inside anything I could get my hands on.

This soup is embarrassingly easy. Throw half the junk in the crockpot, set it, come back and throw the other half in before you eat. I make a humongous (props to you, spellcheck, for recognizing such a fab word) batch, freeze half (which I never do, so you know it’s good) and keep the other half on hand for lunches or dinners. Or until I forget about it and have to throw it out three weeks later. I even did this whole makeshift pot pie thing one day too.

This is making me feel better about all the cheese.


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Springtime Crockpot Minestrone

Yield: serves about 6-8

Total Time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup of frozen sweet peas
1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add diced onions, garlic, carrots, the whole can of diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock and water to your crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice if you can.

About 10-15 minutes before serving, add in asparagus (I like mine with some crunch, add it earlier if you want it softer), spinach, peas and pasta. Cook on low for another 10-15 minutes then stir in grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it will depend on the sodium levels in your stock, tomatoes, etc. Serve immediately with additional cheese on top!

…and the cinnamon rolls.