Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone Soup

Pair with 21 Brix Winery Chardonnay

Ingredients:

– 1 package (about 1 ½ pounds) boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 green pepper, diced

– 6 stalks celery, cut into pieces

– 3 large carrots, cut into pieces

– salt and pepper

– 1 carton (32 ounces) beef culinary stock

– 1 can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomatoes

– 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

– 3 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce

– ½ cup dry ditalini soup pasta

– 1 can (15.5 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

– 1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach

Directions:

Heat oil in large frying pan on medium-high heat until oil faintly smokes. Add beef; sear 10 minutes until all sides are paper-bag brown.

Transfer beef to slow cooker; don’t discard pan drippings. Add vegetables to skillet with beef drippings; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add vegetables to slow cooker with meat. Add beef stock, tomatoes, and tomato sauce to slow cooker.

Cover, cook 4 ½ – 6 hours on high or 8 – 10 hours on low. Add dry pasta and beans 30 minutes before end of cooking on high, 45 minutes before end of cooking on low. Add spinach to slow cooker, stir to blend well. Allow spinach to slightly wilt, about 2 minutes.