Toss fresh veggies, Italian seasonings and beans in the slow cooker to make one hearty and flavorful slow cooker minestrone soup!
Beans get a bad wrap in my house. Whenever Ted or Joey seen beans in a dish, they pick them out and set them aside for Anthony to eat. Despite my best efforts to get my crew to raise the roof for canned beans, I hadn’t found the trick. Until I served them in this veggie-packed slow cooker minestrone soup. Do the great northern beans look like pasta? Yep. Does a heaping tablespoon of Parmesan cheese make the beans in soup taste even better? Joey seems to agree [and I do too]. Don’t ask me why beans are picked out of burritos, tacos, nachos or tortilla soup and enjoyed in this slow cooker minestrone soup. I’ll never understand the brain of a toddler just like my boys will never understand the thinking of their Mom!
Here’s why I’m serving up more beans [regardless of the peanut gallery’s protesting]: beans are an economical source of protein, they are a good source of fiber, and a little goes a long way when it comes to nutrition. Just remember beans aren’t calorie-free; so that’s why I add a few ½ cups here and there in recipes where I see fit. While most minestrone soup recipes call for a few different beans, I decided to go easy on my guys [and our waistlines] and add just 1-2 bean varieties. Not a fan of great northern beans? That’s ok! Swap in for your favorite. Just don’t forget the Parmesan cheese. Your kids will thank me….
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup carrots, chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- ¼ cup onion, diced
- 1- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 32 ounces chicken broth [you can substitute vegetable broth]
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1- 15 ounce can green beans, drained
- 1- 15 ounce can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup ditalini pasta
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, grated for serving
- Place garlic, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth and seasonings into your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
- After cooking time is up, add zucchini, beans, pasta and basil to insert. Cover and cook on high until pasta is tender, about 20-30 minutes. Add more chicken broth if soup is too thick.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Slow cooker minestrone soup is one hearty and budget-friendly weeknight meal! Click To Tweet