Soup weather! Who can pass up a hot bowl of minestrone soup to take the chill off? This one is sure to do just that and it makes a ton of soup. In fact, we usually have this meal two days in a row with enough left to freeze for lunch with a grilled cheese sandwich another day. It has a variety of vegetables and is really low sodium and low fat. Yes, it’s healthy! Best part (I think) is that you can make this in the crockpot. Fill it, turn on and leave it be until it’s time to chow down.
Minestrone Soup (Crockpot)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped (or you can use two cups of frozen pearl onions)
- 2 cups diced celery
- 4 carrots, sliced or small diced
- 4 cups chicken stock (not broth)
- ½ cups water
- 1 can (14.5 - 15oz) fire roasted, diced tomatoes
- 1 can (14.5 - 15oz) tomato sauce
- ½ cup red wine (optional but it adds wonderful flavor)
- 1 can (15.5 oz) kidney beans, drained
- 1 can (15.5 oz) white kidney beans, drained
- 1½ cups frozen green beans (feel free to use canned or fresh)
- 2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1½ tsp dried)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup seashell pasta (or any small pasta, I used ditatelli)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
- In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.If you use Pearl Onion, omit sauteing them and just place in crockpot.
- In crockpot, add chicken stock, water and tomato sauce, tomatoes, red wine beans, green beans, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper (to taste).
- Add the sauted vegetables and let cook on low for about 5 hours.
- The vegetables will be tender-crisp. I like them this way and not mushy or overcooked as some soups can be. If you prefer a softer bite to the vegetables, add 30 more minutes to cooking time.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside. My recommendation would be to NOT add the pasta to the soup as it does tend to "soak" up the liquid.
- Once pasta is cooked and soup is done, place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls.
- Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and enjoy.