So I finally planned a week's worth of menus, and this week the crockpot is going to be a very good friend of mine. Don't you just love the crockpot? It is a working person's dream appliance. I wonder who invented the crockpot - maybe I'll have to look that up, and send the person a thank you note.
Today, however, was not about the crockpot. Today was about quick and easy. It is 10:30pm now and I'm trying desperately to keep my head from falling on the keyboard. I am no spring chicken, so ringing in the New Year definitely has its disadvantages. Any way, I digress.
Today's Dinner Menus:
- Quick Tuscan Bean Soup
- Multi-grain French bread with olive oil
- 1 onion – chopped (I prefer red)
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
- 1 large stick of celery - chopped
- Handful of white mushrooms - washed and rougly chopped
- 1 can cooked cannellini (white) or borlotti beans
- 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
- olive oil
- tomato paste
- large handful of fresh basil
- pinch of dried oregano
- Around 1/2 litre of freshly boiled water
- Cover the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil (vary amount to your taste). Then sauté the chopped onion until it’s golden brown. Add the chopped celery and mushrooms and sauté them too.
- When that has softened, add the can of chopped tomatoes - and a spoonful or a generous squirt of tomato paste (vary amount to your taste) - then crush the garlic cloves and add them too.
- Let it come up to the boil, turn down the heat, add the canned beans, stir them in and let the soup simmer away. As it starts to thicken, add the water gradually – if you want a thinner soup, add more. Season with black pepper - and salt if you wish - and simmer for around 30 minutes. Then tear the fresh basil leaves and add to the soup, together with the dried oregano. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Serve drizzled with olive oil, a sprinkling of grated parmesan – and a hunk of crusty bread.