Crock Pot Minestrone Soup--an easy, delicious soup that is perfect for busy days, sick days or any day!

It’s been a crappy week or so in my house.  Everyone got sick with this yucky cold, which then turned into acute bronchitis for my husband and I.  Yeah.  Fun stuff, let me tell you.  And when I’m sick, I really hate having to put too much effort into cooking.  So I was relieved when I opened the fridge and found a big plastic container full of one of my favorite soups: Minestrone.  It was leftover from Christmas Day when we had dinner at my in-laws home and we ended up with about half to bring home.

So today I’m sharing this recipe with you in hopes that you’ll find it as delicious as me and my family do. I wish I could say that I made up this recipe and take all the credit for the yumminess that it is, but I’d be lying and that is generally frowned upon…  The truth is that I found the recipe on Pinterest on a blog called Yummy Healthy Easy who adapted it from another blog (Foodtography).  I have adapted it a little more to suite me and my family.

I really like this recipe for a few reasons:
  • It is a good no-meat alternative.
  • It’s easy.
  • It’s healthy and filling.
  • It doesn’t heat up my house in the summer months.
  • It uses ingredients that I typically have around my house so I’m not running to the store for something random.
This soup is so easy to throw together in the crock pot in the morning and you just add a couple more ingredients in during the last 30-40 minutes of cook time.  Get some Rhodes rolls going a few hours before dinner and voila!—you have an entire meal that takes practically no work at all.  Double it for larger groups, or take it to a neighbor.  (It’s also a perfect meal to take to moms who have just had a baby.)
Now, on to the recipe:

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup--an easy, delicious soup that is perfect for busy days, sick days or any day!

First, you’ll need to combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup--an easy, delicious soup that is perfect for busy days, sick days or any day!

About 30-40 minutes before it’s done cooking, add the zucchini and spinach.  Cook for 30 minutes.

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup--an easy, delicious soup that is perfect for busy days, sick days or any day!

Add cooked pasta and let it cook 10 minutes more.

*Note: If you used fresh rosemary and/or bay leaves, this is where you would want to take them out.  I generally use dried herbs for my soups, so I just leave them in since they have become soft and part of the soup.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle on some shredded parmesan cheese, then salt and pepper to taste.
It might be an understatement to say that my family loves this soup.  My husband eats it both the day of and as leftovers to take to work the next day.  Both my 3.5 year old and my 16 month old ask for seconds every time.  It rarely lasts more than a couple of days in our house.  That makes it a winner in my book!

Crock Pot Minestrone Soup--an easy, delicious soup that is perfect for busy days, sick days or any day!

CROCK POT MINESTRONE SOUP
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped (I use about 1 Tbsp onion salt)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped (about 3 large carrots, or 12 baby carrots)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or ½ tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 (28 oz) can petite-diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed (I found these under the name Great Northern beans)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 bay leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried) 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped (or 3/4 tsp dried) 
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  1/2 tsp pepper 
  • 1 medium, zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen (defrosted) spinach
  • 1-2 cups small pasta, like ditalini or elbows, cooked al dente
  • Extra parmesan cheese for serving on top
Directions:
  1.  In a crock pot, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. 30-40 minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini and spinach.  Cover and cook 30 minutes.
  3. Add cooked pasta, cook 10 minutes more.
  4. Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprig.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.  ENJOY!

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