Friday, 29 August 2008

Slow cooker Minestrone

Serves 6-8

1 c red kidney beans
2 carrots, diced
3 pieces celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 rashers bacon, de-rinded and chopped
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
1/4 c tomato paste
6 c boiling chicken stock
1 bouquet garni
1 c macaroni elbows
1/4 small cabbage, finely sliced
parmesan cheese to serve

Soak kidney beans overnight. Drain and rinse, discarding soaking water.
Alternatively, boil for 15-20 minutes, discarding cooking water.
Place the following in the slow cooker: soaked beans, carrots, celery, garlic, bacon, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock and bouquet garni. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours.
Add macaroni an hour before the end as well as salt to taste. Add cabbage half and hour before ready to serve. Serve hot garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese.

***Did you know that red kidney beans, unlike other beans must be presoaked or precooked before using in the slow cooker. These beans contain aflotoxins, which are removed in the pre-soaking.
Don't be tempted to keep the soaking/precooking water you are not wasting nutrients but stopping these toxins making you sick.


Rest is not idleness said...

Hi, I was always told to soak the kidney beans for 5 hours (minimum) drain, discard the soaking water, then boil them on a fast boil for 15-20 minutes and then simmer for about 2 hours until thoroughly cooked. Apparently it will only take 4 -6 beans that are a bit undercooked to cause gastric distress.

Lis said...

Thanks Rest for the great tip - I figured the long cooking in the slow cooker would sort out any that weren't quite cooked? But then I'm not a cooking expert :)

Rest is not idleness said...

Me either, but beter to be safe than sorry. I just finished reading a Dick Francis novel, where the means of murder was undercooked kidney beans!!!
P.S. I enjoy reading your blog