November 3, 2011

Crockpot Kale and Butternut Squash Stew

For those of you that know me, you know I do not often make the same thing twice.  Of course I have my favorites, but usually when given the option of old or new, I side with new.  That is half of the reason I started this blog; so that I could have a way to organize and revisit the new recipes that I have tried that I should make again.  I sometimes think that maybe it is a result of growing up in a house that had a weekly/monthly meal rotation and always knowing what to expect at dinner.  I loved the predictability back then and maybe I will again in the future.  I am working on that!  My whole point is that I have made this stew twice in the past week and at first I was shocked that I had, but then the reasons became obvious.  First, it is absolutely delicious and incredibly healthy- packed with vegetables, beans, and whole grain orzo.  Second, there is minimal prep time chopping and then it all goes in the crockpot- done!  Bonus- my 20 month old loves it! 

3 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
1 bay leaf, dried
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried rosemary
32 oz. chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small pieces (I use one half package of the precut)
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped
1 cup whole wheat orzo
1 package of mild chicken sausage (thinly sliced)
fresh ground pepper
parmesan cheese, for topping

1. Combine all ingredients except pasta in the bowl of a crockpot. Cover and cook on high, 3-4 hours.
2. Ten minutes before eating, add the pasta. Just before serving, remove bay leaf.
3. Ladle soup into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

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