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Easy Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup in a red ceramic soup crock with a spoon

5 from 2 reviews

This simple recipe for minestrone soup is cooked in the slow cooker for an easy weeknight dinner. This hearty vegetarian soup is chalked full of pasta, beans and zucchini for a delicious dinner for the whole family.

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh garlic, approximately 3 cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh white onion, approximately 1/2 of a small onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh celery, approximately 2 small stalks
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh carrots, approximately 2 small carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with italian seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 14 ounce can white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine garlic, onion, celery, carrots, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, oregano, marjoram, bay leaf and vegetable stock all into the slow cooker.
  2. Stir to combine everything together and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  3. Add in beans, zucchini and pasta and cook for an additional hour on high.
  4. Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and serve!

Notes

  • Serve this soup with a warm loaf of Italian bread from the bakery. It's great for dipping!
  • Buy or make bread bowls for an extra special way to serve this delicious soup!

Substitutions and Variations

  • Pasta - Small shells or elbow macaroni can be used as a substitute for ditalini.
  • Vegetables - Fresh tomatoes, yellow squash, green beans, spinach and/or kale can be used as substitutes or in addition to the other vegetables.
  • Beans - Garbanzo beans or black beans are other beans that can be added or used as substitutes.
  • Meat - If you prefer meat in your minestrone soup, cooked ground beef, italian sausage or even diced cooked chicken can be added at the end with the pasta and zucchini.
  • Spicy - Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes with the other seasonings to spice this soup up a bit!
  • Cheese - This soup can be garnished with fresh parmesan cheese before serving for extra flavor if desired.
  • Gluten Free - Switch out the pasta and zucchini for some zucchini noodles to make this minestrone soup gluten free. Gluten free pasta can be used as well, however, I recommend cooking it ahead of time and adding it right before serving.
  • Vegan - This soup is naturally vegan as long as the pasta you are using does not contain animal products such as eggs. Check the package ingredients to verify.

Alternative Cooking Methods

Stovetop - This soup can be made on the stovetop instead of the slow cooker. In a large pot or dutch oven heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and then saute the garlic, onions, carrots and celery for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are completely softened and pasta is cooked through.

Make Ahead Instructions

This soup can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and reheated on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. Additional broth may need to be added as the pasta will continue to soak up the liquid as it sits.

Storage Suggestions

This soup will keep up to 5 day in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer when stored in an airtight container. If frozen, allow the soup to thaw completely before heating. Additional broth may need to be added during reheating.

Keywords: slow cooker minestrone, crockpot minestrone, easy minestrone soup recipe