Minestrone is a hearty, healthy, Italian soup that is delicious and works with just about any fresh vegetables you have on hand.
This can easily be done on the stove but is perfect to put in a crock pot in the morning and have it ready to eat in the evening.
Don’t use cheap, off-brand tomato sauce for this one. It really matters.
- 3 C vegetable stock
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can white (cannelloni or navy) beans, drained
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 C onion, chopped
- 1 t dried thyme
- 1/2 t dried sage
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 C cooked ditalini pasta
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 C coarsely chopped fresh spinach
- 4 T grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Basil sprigs, garnish, optional
In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Garnish with basil, if desired.