1/2 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 can diced tomato, undrained
1 can red kidney beaned, drained and rinsed
2 cans vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 + 1/2 cups small pasta shells, uncooked
1/2 grated Parmesan.
Heat dressing in skillet on medium high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
Spoon into slow cooker, add tomato with liquid, beans broth, water, and Italian seasoning. Stir.
Cook on Low for 6 hours (3 hours on high). Stir in pasta, cook 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese just before serving.
I cut the veggies in nice big chunks, using 2 carrots 2 stalks of celery and a full onion. This is the veggies frying in the pan. I only used about half the amount of dressing because as i was measuring it, i realized the end of the bottle was near...that was all i had and it was to late to run out to get some more.
I also added a zucchini and these really cool purple string beans i found in the City Market.
Although i was quite disappointed when they turned into regular green beans when cooked. I cooked it on low for 2 hours and then added the beans, since they take a lesser cooking time. I think next time, i will chop the veggies smaller, they were still crunchy after 4 hours cooking. And because i did not realize this until after i added the pasta, it ended up being soggy (i like my pasta el dente). I also forgot to add the Parmesan to serve.
I served the Minestrone with homemade tea biscuits, and it was delicious! I will be making this one again. Recipe states it serves 4, but it made enough for 6, or more if served with a nice grilled cheese. It cost no more than 12 dollars for all the ingredients, as well! So this is a cheap, hearty meal, enjoy!
Editing a month after the fact: This does not freeze well!! I pulled it out last night; i stuck it in the fridge when it was thawed and tonight when i tried to reheat, it was a mess. It seperated and i could not get it to blend. I ended up picking out the larger veggies and wasting the rest :-(