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.
- 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.
Now, on to the recipe:
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.
About 30-40 minutes before it’s done cooking, add the zucchini and spinach. Cook for 30 minutes.
Add cooked pasta and let it cook 10 minutes more.
- 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
- 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.
- 30-40 minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta, cook 10 minutes more.
- Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprig. Ladle soup into bowls and top with shredded parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. ENJOY!