Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker}

An easy to make, minestrone soup recipe that tastes 1000 times better than the Olive Garden’s version! My minestrone soup is loaded with good for you veggies, like spinach and zucchini. It’s also protein packed with red kidney beans and great northern beans. You’ll be full for hours from this healthy, nutritious soup!

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com
How about I throw a bunch of ingredients (say, veggies, beans, and pasta) into a crockpot and call it dinner? This minestrone soup is probably going to be the easiest thing you’re ever going to cook. And the best part? You didn’t even need to turn on the stove!

I wonder if it’s even legal for me to call this a minestrone soup recipe? It’s ingredients that get tossed into the slow cooker and a few hours later, they come out in the form of a soup. Don’t you just love lunches and dinners like that? This gal right here is a big fan of those kinda meals.

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com So guys, I have news. I ♥ vegetables. And you already knew that. And now you know it even more.

My hope for you with this soup → that you make this on a really chilly and busy October night. It’s absolutely perfect for those days/nights when you have only 3,018,857 things to get done, and the fact that the crockpot is awesome and takes on the dinner responsibilities for the evening means you have the 30 minutes you would’ve spent making dinner to do what. ever. you. like.

Real excitement right there. Ideally, that would happen in a big, comfy chair with a good book and a warm blanket. These oh so rare, picture perfect moments are brought to you by my slow cooker minestrone soup recipe.

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com Shall I dare say my minestrone soup recipe is better than the Olive Garden’s version? Yes, I think I will. Don’t get my wrong, I first fell in love with minestrone soup at the Olive Garden. It actually set the expectation of what a minestrone soup should be, for me. The canned stuff was absolutely no good at all. And after researching the interweb till there weren’t anymore recipes to research, I decided to come up with my own.

So what makes my minestrone soup recipe unique and better? Well i’ve got a secret ingredient. Any guesses? Okay, I’ll give you a hinnnnt. It’s in the picture above. And it’s a red blob. No, not the diced tomatoes, the other red blob.

*Shhh* i’m only sharing this with you because we’re friends. Ready for it?

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com

SUN DRIED TOMATO PESTO!

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com That super concentrated flavor of tomato pesto is exactly what minestrone soup needs. Plus, the basil, parmesan, and pine nuts in the pesto add such a great, full bodied flavor to the soup.

Also, since we’re sharing secret ingredients and all, toss in a few parmesan rinds into the minestrone soup. For herbs I used dried oregano, fresh rosemary (because I had fresh on hand, dried is fine too), and a few bay leaves.

This minestrone soup is exactly what you need to warm up on a chilly evening. I served it with a few slices of baguette, toasted and rubbed down with a garlic clove. We dipped, we dunked, and sipped, slurped soup (say that 3x fast) like it was our job. It was a good evening. 🙂

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com

Homemade Minestrone Soup (Slow Cooker)

An easy to make, minestrone soup recipe that tastes 1000 times better than the Olive Garden’s version! My minestrone soup is loaded with good for you veggies, like spinach and zucchini. It’s also protein packed with red kidney beans and great northern beans. You’ll be full for hours from this healthy, nutritious soup!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups tubular (ditalini) pasta
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
  • 2 1/2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (or Romano)

Directions:

  1. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  2. Add in red kidney beans, great northern beans, zucchini, and pasta and cook on high heat for an additional 20- 25 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and green beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with parmesan cheese and garlic toasts.

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Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com

*Please note: the nutritional facts calculated are an estimate based on the ingredients i’ve used. If you’d like a more accurate count, please calculate them using the ingredients/brands you’ve used to prepare the recipe. The nutritional info for this minestrone soup is calculated based on 8 servings.*

Homemade Minestrone Soup {Slow Cooker} made with a secret ingredient, this soup is perfect for chilly evenings! #minestronesoup #crockpot #slowcooker #minestrone | LIttlespicejar.com