Set it and forget it! This slow cooker minestrone soup calls for minimal effort but delivers BIG payback in the flavor department. Sautéing the veggies beforehand helps develop the flavors (which means you can cut back on the salt), plenty of herbs and spices also boost the flavor. If you don’t have a slow cooker with a sauté function, just do the first step on the stovetop. With so many great flavors, this slow cooker minestrone is sure to be a favorite on the dinner table!
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium stalks celery, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 quart no salt added chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 (28 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
- 2 cups large chunks butternut squash
- 1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup canned white bean, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- 5 springs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Heat oil in slow cooker set to sauté function. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add oregano and salt and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add stock, diced tomatoes, squash and beans and stir.
- Using a piece of kitchen twine, gently tie thyme sprigs and bay leaf into a bundle and toss in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours (or on LOW for 6 hours).
- When there is 20 minutes left of cook time, remove lid and stir in pasta. Cover and cook for remaining time.
- When cook time is up, remove thyme bundle and discard.
- Ladle into bowls and serve. Cool and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- You can add a little grated parmesan cheese before serving, each tablespoon adds about 100mg of sodium so measure out to keep track.
- Add a piece of parmesan rind to soup for an extra nutty flavor.
Dana is our July RD of the Month! Check out more of her favorite recipes featuring canned tomatoes here.