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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Slow Cook Minestrone

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Here is the Slow Cook Minestrone soup version that I made recently. I just love Minestrone... I like a lot of chunk in my soups, stews, and chili!

FYI: If you ever want to convert a stovetop recipe to slow cook: Pre-cook Meat; Use half the reccomended liquid since it will not boil away or evaporate; Add creams towards the end; Add soft beans, cooked noodles and veges towards the end to avoid overcooking and sogginess; add spices towards the end to preserve the flavor.


3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

2 bay leaves

Salt and ground black pepper

2 cups cooked ditalini pasta

1 medium zucchini, chopped

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Basil sprigs, garnish, optional


In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Garnish with basil, if desired.
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