recipes

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Maybe one of the most versatile soups you can make, minestrone is best when you make it with whatever you have on hand and in season. That way you’re guaranteed to get the best, brightest flavors. When it’s cold, don’t be afraid to add hearty squash, sausage or potatoes. In summer, your choices are seemingly endless. There are very few rules about what really goes in minestrone, so don’t be afraid to make it the way you or your family likes. For this version, we go all vegetarian and use the brightest and freshest vegetables we can get our hands on

This slow cooker vegetarian minestone soup is yummy, super easy to make and packed with nutrients.
Total Time

6 hours

Servings

8

Nutrition

168 cals

If you are lucky enough to have a garden or farmer’s market nearby, it’s a great time to explore for vegetables you haven’t tried before or get the freshest ingredients listed here. No farmers? No worries! Frozen, canned, or bagged ones will do just great since they are packed at the peak of freshness anyway. You won’t miss a thing. Canned tomatoes are great here if you don’t have fresh on hand. Besides, you would have to blanche and peel fresh ones before you could use them. I’m not a glutton for extra work and I’m guessing you aren’t either. There’s no shame in a can.

As if there’s anything that could top off a bowl of perfectly cooked summer vegetables—we’re going to make this even easier with the help of your slow cooker. Four hours or so and your light lunch or dinner will be nearly ready. You’ll want to add some of the most tender vegetables—like the spinach and asparagus—in the last 30 minutes of cooking to avoid making them mushy. Just say no to the mush.

crock pot
slow cooker minestrone soup

Use any pasta you want, but a short one like ditalini (used here), penne or even bow ties would work just fine. Just don’t get tempted to dump in more than the recipe calls for. Remember they will expand and you don’t want a bowl of pasta with vegetables. They are supposed to be a supporting act, not the star.

minestrone soup recipe

Top off your summer minestrone with a sprinkling of good quality Parmesan cheese (to take us back to this soup’s Italian roots) and a slice or two—okay, maybe four—of crusty bread. Dip, scoop and devour this light summer soup. Any leftovers can be frozen (without the pasta) or reheated later as needed.

Ingredients

  • 2 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 medium carrots, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano (optional)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 8 asparagus spears, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 cup baby peas
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
  • ¾ cup short pasta (like ditalini) (optional)

Directions

  1. In the crock of your slow cooker, add the beans and the next 8 ingredients. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours until the carrots are tender. Add the spinach, asparagus, zucchini, peas and pasta.
  3. Stir to combine and replace lid. Allow to cook until the pasta and vegetables are tender—about 30 more minutes. Taste to check seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve warm.




Nutrition

Calories

168 cals

Fat

0.9 g

Protein

10.5 g

Carbohydrates

32.1 g

Sugar

6.1 g

Fiber

9.3 g

Vitamin A 265.8 µg
Folic Acid (B9) 143.1 µg

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