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After a “what do you cook in your crockpot?” conversation with a friend recently, I was inspired to make my traditional Minestrone soup in the slow cooker. This is a first for me. I’m happy to say that it came out great, if not a little better even.
I took my original recipe and did everything the same except I cooked it real slow over the course of the day. To be honest, I am pretty sure I will only be cooking my Minestrone soups this way in the future.
Such a great way to have your soup ready to go at the end of a busy day!
Here’s how I make “my” minestrone soup (with a crock pot twist):
*se the full ingredient list is on the recipe card below*
1. First dice and saute (in olive oil) carrots, onion, zucchini and celery.
OPTIONAL: I didn’t use potatoes in this meal but I do sometimes add diced potatoes. You can saute them with the other vegetables.
2. Add vegetables to the crock pot with basic tomato sauce, water, beans and a vegetable bouillon cube. After stirring all together, I set the cooker to low and let it do its thing. ALTERNATIVE: If you don’t have a basic tomato sauce add about 2 cups of chopped peeled or diced italian tomatoes. You should also add some fresh chopped parsley for additional flavor.
NOTE ON CANNED BEANS: I like to rinse and drain my beans before adding to the soup. Also, If you like your beans a bit firmer wait to add them until the halfway mark (like after 3 hours).
3. At the five hour mark I add a cup of chopped frozen/fresh spinach and changed the setting to high. Then in the last half hour I add the frozen peas.
TIP: If you’re at work or just unable to change the setting on the crockpot in the last hour it will be fine on low for 8 hours. Just don’t add the frozen peas and spinach until you return home. They really don’t need a lot of time to cook.
TOTAL TIME IN THE CROCK POT : 6-8 HOURS
While my son prefers minestrone with pasta, I prefer it without. You can make it either way. As a general rule, when making soup with pasta, I always boil the pasta separately and cook it about 3/4’s the way through. I then drain the pasta before adding it to the soup. I like to add it at the very end of the cooking process. This is how I was taught so I stick with this rule. The great thing about cooking is you can do it however YOU like it best!
I look forward to your feedback so let me know what you think in the comments below.
- 19oz can of Red Kidney Beans or Cannellini beans 1
- 3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 medium zucchini diced
- 1 cup basic tomato sauce
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 5-6 cups water
- 1 vegetable or bouillon cube
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pan saute diced onion, celery, carrot and zucchini in olive oil. Season to taste.
- Add vegetables to crock pot with water, sauce, and bouillon. Cook on low for 3 hours. After 3 hours add drained and rinsed beans and stir.
- The last hour of cooking add the spinach and peas and cook on high until done - about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Serve warm.
To prepare with pasta: use a small pasta like ditalini or elbows. Add to soup at the end of the cooking process,
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