Even though it is pretty warm here on the Gulf Coast, I love a good, hearty cup of soup after a long day. Minestrone is absolutely my favorite soup ever – and it is SO good for you! Even better – it takes very little skill other than chopping and throwing everything together in a pot. Total win. This week I pulled out my slow cooker to make this family favorite and everyone was super impressed. The hardest part was not diving into it while it filled my house with the most amazing smells ever. No doubt this Crockpot Minestrone Soup is going to be something we make often!
This recipe makes a LOT of soup. But that is great since it freezes wonderfully and you can heat it up any time for a piping hot bowl of deliciousness! I even put it in individual containers for Mike to take to lunch. He loves it. He DOES like to add a bunch of salt and pepper and hot sauce to his though! Men!
All you need is salad and bread to make this a complete meal! Did you know they even sell Olive Garden Salad Dressing in the bottle?!! How incredible is that! It is like bringing the whole restaurant home – with even enough for leftovers! It is perfect for Meatless Monday or any other day of the week! It is also great for entertaining since it makes so much!
A simple and delicious family favorite inspired by Olive Garden! Freezes perfectly for reheating any time you need a piping hot bowl to warm you up!
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
- ½ can tomato paste
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 medium carrots sliced thin or diced
- 1 small onion diced
- ¼ cup Italian seasoning blend
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can great northern beans (white navy beans or cannellini beans are good too), drained and rinsed
- 2 cups frozen green beans thawed
- 2 cups packed chopped fresh spinach
- Shredded cheese for serving
Combine chicken broth, water, tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, Italian seasoning blend, and bay leaves in a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6 - 8 hours or high 3 - 4 hours. Check the veggies for doneness before proceeding.
Add in zucchini, garlic, kidney beans and great northern beans and cook on high heat an additional 30 - 40 minutes.
Add the pasta, and cook 20 minutes more or until pasta is tender (check this, don’t guess).
Stir in spinach and green beans and cook a few more minutes until the green beans are heated through, and the spinach is wilted.
Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.