Slow Cooker Italian Minestrone: A warming, hearty soup that simmers all day in the slow cooker, welcoming you home from a long day!
There is a great debate that goes on with my family over soups.
During the Christmas holiday, when there are over 20 people and 5 dogs crammed into my parents house (crazy, but so fun!!), we make soup. Because it is easy, cheap, filling, and most importantly warms us up in the freezing Ohio weather.
But there of course has to be more than one soup. Because people get picky.
Oh that is another story. A long story.
So what do we do? We make Broccoli Cheese Soup and Minestrone.
Okay, here is where my pickiness is going to show–I love Minestrone Soup just about anyway I can get my hands on it. So while I love my Mom’s and choose it over the Broccoli Cheese Soup, I really prefer my version of crock-pot minestrone. Sorry mom!!
Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
So I am sharing with you my favorite version of Minestrone.
Not my mom’s minestrone recipe. Not a restaurant copy-cat recipe.
An Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe I have adapted for all 4 picky eaters at my house, so that we all lick the bowl clean and ask for seconds, thirds, or even fourths!
Tips on Crock-Pot Italian Minestrone
- I use tomato puree instead of diced tomatoes. My son HATES chunks of tomatoes in his soup, so that is a great tip for anyone with texture issues. If you have no texture issues at your house, diced tomatoes work as well.
- I use onion powder instead of diced onions. My daughter will pick out any onion bits she sees with a frown!
- Add any vegetables you like to this soup–chopped zucchini, carrots, green beans, yellow squash, celery, etc–whatever your family likes or you have on hand.
- Instead of kale, you can use spinach or broccoli rabe in slow cooker minestrone. If you use fresh, add it in for the last 30 minutes of cooking. If using frozen greens, add it to the beginning of the slow cooking process.
- I use pinto beans in my easy Minestrone soup because those are what my husband likes. Kidney beans, cannellini beans, northern white beans all work!
- I love the addition of red wine in this soup–give it such flavor, but feel free to use extra stock.
- If you don’t have Vegetable stock and are not vegetarian, chicken stock works just as well in this soup.
- Feel free to use gluten-free pasta as well to make this Gluten-Free Minestrone Soup.
- It is traditional to top Italian Minestrone with shaved parmesan, but to keep this vegan, just omit cheese.
Slow Cooker Minestrone
A classic Italian Soup made in the crockpot.
- 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 2 cups cabbage sliced into thin ribbons
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup red wine optional
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 cups red beans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 pound green beans cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 large zucchini diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 cup whole wheat elbow noodles
- Parmesan cheese for serving
Place all ingredients expect for Pasta and cheese in slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
Turn the slow cooker to high. Add the pasta and greens and cook for 20-30 minutes until pasta tender.
Remove bay leaf and serve with a generous grating of Parmesan.