Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

I did not like minestrone when I was a kid, not one little bit! Vegetable soup was okay, but I didn't eat tomatoes. Therefore, a bunch of vegetables floating around in tomato juice did not appeal at all! But, when I learned to eat tomatoes, I also learned to love minestrone. I've been working on this recipe for a few months now, adding and subtracting ingredients until I found the perfect taste. Really, you can put any vegetables you want in this soup, but I'll tell you my favorites. This recipe is for eight servings and takes about 4 hours to slow cook. It could be done in less than an hour on the stove. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 quart of vegetable stock (I make my own batch of stock every other week, but I recommend Pacific or Imagine brand, too.) 
  • 1 16 oz can of tomato paste
  • 2 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • 8 servings of the noodles of your choice (I recommend rotini, elbow, or penne. I use the banza brand, which is made entirely of chickpeas.)
  • 1 small container of fresh baby spinach 
  • 2 zucchini or yellow squash
  • 2 cans of dark red kidney beans
  • 2 cans of cannelini beans (white kidney beans)
  • 2 cups of fresh green beans, cut into bite sizes (Or you can get a bag from the frozen aisle) 
Minestrone.jpg

Instructions: 

  1. Heat your vegetable stock and tomato paste in the slow cooker. This may take an hour. Once they are fully blended, you can add the rest of the ingredients. If you have an immersion blender or feel like whisking it, it can happen in less than 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the rest of your ingredients (except the noodles) and stir. 
  3. Add salt to taste. 
  4. Add noodles prior to serving or storing. I don't recommend letting the noodles sit in the slow cooker for more than a few minutes if you are serving the soup immediately. 

You may alternatively serve this soup over rice, quinoa, or with potatoes. You can add carrots, celery, beets... try out different versions for yourself! This can either feed eight people a lovely dinner, or it can be lunch for two people for four days!