yummy monestrone soup in a white dish

Minestrone Soup 

On cold days, we want warmth and comfort. And there is nothing like the comfort of a warm homemade soup.  With two kinds of beans and plenty of vegetables, this classic Italian minestrone is a crowd-pleaser, especially on chilly evenings. It is the easiest soup you could ever make and especially perfect for those days when you wish for a highly satiating meal but do not have that much time to spend in the kitchen.

With a slow cooker, you can assemble your dish, relax, and let all the flavors meld over the heat. So if your pantry is stocked with staples and have fresh vegetables with you, then it is a cinch to put this together in about 15 to 30 minutes and let it simmer 6 to 8 hours in the slow cooker. It is a soup fare which is too good to be true. Healthy, incredibly tasty, and all from the convenience of a slow cooker.

a slow cooker on a table

Made with minimal effort, this soup is a complete meal in a soup as it is packed with protein and fiber and will satisfy the hungriest of appetites. Though it is low in fat and calories, the soup will keep you full for hours with this highly satiating nutritious soup. The basil, parmesan, and pine nuts lend such a great full-bodied flavor to the soup. On top, there is a lot of goodness going on in this soup.

So have the perfect dinner to chase away those winter blues and enjoy your dinner.

How to Make Minestrone Soup 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Green Beans, frozen & thawed
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 ½ cup Zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 ½ cups Baby Spinach, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup Celery, diced
  • Salt as needed
  • ¼ cup Sun-Dried Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Carrots, diced
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper, ground
  • 1 cup Ditalini Pasta
  • 1 Parmesan Rind
  • 1 ½ cup White Onion, diced
  • 1 × 15 oz. Great Northern Beans, washed & drained
  • 1 tsp. Oregano, dried
  • 2 × 14 ½ oz. can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 × 15 oz. Red Kidney Beans, washed & drained
  • 5 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • Few Basil leaves, for garnishing
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • ½ tsp. Rosemary, dried
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated, for garnishing.

Method of Preparation

  1. For making this lip-smacking soup, place bay leaves, diced tomatoes, oregano, tomato paste, rosemary, tomato pesto, celery, parmesan rind, onion, vegetable broth, pepper, water, salt, carrots, and garlic into the slow cooker.
  2. Cook for 3 to 4 hours on high heat or 7 to 8 on low heat.
  3. Next, stir in the great northern beans, zucchini, red kidney beans, and pasta into it.
  4. Give a good stir until everything comes together and cook for 25 minutes on high heat or until the pasta becomes tender.
  5. Taste for seasoning and spoon in more if required.
  6. Finally, stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until the spinach is melted. Discard the bay leaves and parmesan rind before serving. Tip: When spinach is added at the end, it will remain bright and green.
  7. Garnish it with grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy.

Nutritional Information per calories

  • Calories: 307Kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 44.2g
  • Proteins: 12.8g
  • Fat: 9.8g
  • Sodium: 468mg

Storage: The minestrone stays good for up to three to four days in the refrigerator when kept in an air-tight container. For that, it is always better to chill it and store it within two hours of cooking. You can also freeze the soup for up to two months in freezer-safe containers. If freezing, leave out spinach and pasta and add them later when it is reheated. Once frozen, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight the day before. You can reheat them on the stove on low heat while stirring it occasionally along with a bit of water if necessary. Or microwave it on low heat for 30 seconds. If not, then heat using 30-second intervals stirring after each reheating until it is warmed through.

Minestrone Soup Tips

  • Serve it with crusty bread or with almond crackers.
  • To spice up the soup, you can spoon in ¼ to ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
  • If you are adding fresh green beans, then add them along with zucchini.
  • If you are a meat-eater, then you can add ground beef or Italian sausage to it.
  • If you are into a gluten-free diet, then you use gluten-free pasta.
  • If you are a vegan, then avoid the parmesan cheese. Instead, you can use vegan cheese.
  • If you want a smooth pureed soup rather than a chunky one, you can puree the beans before adding it to the slow cooker.
  • If you want it to be keto-friendly, skip the pasta.
  • You can add chopped potatoes to it, instead of pasta. But then it will be less hearty.
  • The recipe is highly versatile and customizable. Therefore, you can add your choice of vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage, etc.
  • If you wish, you can add squeezed lemon juice at the end so that all the flavors will pop up.
  • To further enhance the flavor, you can add Herbs De Provence to it.
  • Instead of rosemary and oregano, you can add your choice of herbs to the soup like thyme and marjoram.

Minestrone Soup FAQ 

For best results, follow the recipe as it is. However, some common substitutes would work well in this recipe. They are:

  • Instead of the ditalini pasta, you can use any short pasta like mini shells or mini penne.
  • Instead of great northern beans, you can use cannellini beans.
  • Instead of white onion, you can use yellow onion.
  • Instead of parmesan cheese, you can use romano cheese.
  • Instead of spinach, you can add kale or Swiss chard.
  • Instead of zucchini, you can add any squash of your choice.
  • Instead of pasta, you can also use rice.
yummy minestrone soup resting in white bowl

Minestrone Soup

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 307 kcal

Equipment

  • Slow cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Green Beans frozen & thawed
  • 4 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 ½ cup Zucchini diced
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 ½ cups Baby Spinach chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup Celery diced
  • Salt as needed
  • ¼ cup Sun-Dried Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Carrots diced
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper ground
  • 1 cup Ditalini Pasta
  • 1 Parmesan Rind
  • 1 ½ cup White Onion diced
  • 1 × 15 oz Great Northern Beans washed & drained
  • 1 tsp Oregano dried
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 × 14 ½ oz. can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 × 15 oz. Red Kidney Beans washed & drained
  • 5 cloves Garlic minced
  • Few Basil leaves for garnishing
  • ½ tsp. Rosemary dried
  • 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • Parmesan Cheese grated, for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • For making this lip-smacking soup, place bay leaves, diced tomatoes, oregano, tomato paste, rosemary, tomato pesto, celery, parmesan rind, onion, vegetable broth, pepper, water, salt, carrots, and garlic into the slow cooker.
  • Cook for 3 to 4 hours on high heat or 7 to 8 on low heat.
  • Next, stir in the great northern beans, zucchini, red kidney beans, and pasta into it.
  • Give a good stir until everything comes together and cook for 25 minutes on high heat or until the pasta becomes tender.
  • Taste for seasoning and spoon in more if required.
  • Finally, stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes or until the spinach is melted. Discard the bay leaves and parmesan rind before serving. Tip: When spinach is added at the end, it will remain bright and green.
  • Garnish it with grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves.
  • Serve hot and enjoy.
Terry Reece
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