Slow Cooker Ham Minestrone Soup

Tis the season, right?  It’s the season in between winter and spring.  It’s called second winter.  When all I can think about is spring and when it’s coming.  Spring, when it comes, will be over and gone WAY too quick.  It’s one of my two favorite seasons (spring and fall), both of which are short-lived.

Anyways, during second winter, I live for my slow cooker and making healthy soups that can simmer all day and make my house smell divine.  It’s super easy to throw a bunch of ingredients and a box of chicken stock in the slow cooker in the morning and by the end of the day you have a healthy and delicious dinner.  It’s also quite convenient when the kids get off the bus and have to leave for their after school activities almost immediately that I can have dinner ready for when they get home (or before they have to leave).

Anyways, I’m super fond of making a vegetable minestrone soup; a bunch of chopped up veggies, kidney beans and some macaroni noodles.  But, about a month ago, KB decided to buy a pig with my sister.  So I had all this smoked ham that needed using and I decided to make a ham minestrone soup.  I threw in some brown rice noodles to make it healthier and everyone enjoyed it!

Start by adding ham, carrots, celery and onions to the slow cooker.

Add a can of kidney beans, can of tomatoes, can of corn, a teaspoon of chopped garlic and any fresh herbs you have (I used thyme and oregano).

Cover with chicken stock and water.  Let cook on slow for 6 hours (or so).

About an hour before you are ready to eat, add the noodles.  Cook for another hour.  Or until the noodles are cooked.

Discard herbs (stems).  Serve and enjoy!

1 medium sized ham steak
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 celery stocks, diced
1 can red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
fresh herbs *optional: I used thyme and oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 – 32 oz box chicken stock
2 cups water
1/2 bag brown rice macaroni noodles *or you can use regular macaroni noodles

In the bowl of a slow cooker place the ham, onion, carrots, celery, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, corn, garlic and fresh herbs.  Cover with chicken stock and water.  Cook on low for 6 hours.  About an hour before you are ready to eat, add the noodles and continue to cook for another hour or until the noodles are al dente.

Serve and enjoy!