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Need a hearty soup for Meatless Mondays? Throw this into your slow cooker before you leave for work in the morning. You won’t even miss the meat.
— Shelby Kinnaird
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- 3 Cups vegetable or chicken stock (preferably reduced sodium)
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 Cup onion, chopped
- 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ Teaspoon dried sage
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoonfreshly ground pepper
- 2 Cups cooked whole-wheat orzo (about 2/3 cup dry)
- 1 zucchini, sliced in quarters lengthwise, then chopped
- 2 Cups fresh spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 4 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- basil sprigs for garnish (optional)
- 1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano (undrained)
- 2 14 ounce cans beef broth
- 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots (2 medium)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup dried bow tie pasta
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
In 5- to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker combine beef, undrained tomatoes, broth, cannellini beans, kidney beans, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 4-1/2 hours. Add pasta and squash to cooker (if using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting). Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes more or until pasta is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese. Makes 8 servings.
Slow Cooker Minestrone
Even better than the way it tastes? The way it makes your house smell all day! This recipe makes a lot, but the soup is even better the next day. Great for lunch all week. Can be made vegetarian by omitting sausage and using vegetable stock!
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- ½ pounds Sweet Italian Sausage
- 6 whole Carrots, Peeled And Chopped
- 4 stalks Celery, Chopped
- 1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
- 1 can (15 Oz. Can) White Beans, Drained And Rinsed
- 1 can (15 Oz. Can) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
- 1 can (28 Oz. Can) Diced Tomatoes
- 6 sprigs Fresh Thyme
- ½ teaspoons Dried Sage
- 2 whole Bay Leaves, Dried
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoons Pepper
- 8 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 cups Cooked Ditalini Pasta
Heat the oil in a pan and brown the sausage. Add cooked sausage and all other ingredients except pasta to the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Approximately 30 minutes before you plan to serve, cook and add the pasta. Cover and cook (still on low) for 20-30 more minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and crusty bread alongside.
This soup is even better if you add a chunk of parmesan rind into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients at the beginning.
All ingredient amounts can be changed. Use what you have on hand, cut back on one veggie if you don’t like it, etc. If your slow cooker is smaller than mine (I feed armies, gaming groups, and my husband, all of whom eat a lot), cut down the amounts of the veggies, use just one kind of beans, use less broth and a little less pasta. Just make it fit. Soup isn’t an exact science it’ll taste good no matter what you do.
What to Serve with the Minestrone Soup
There are plenty of side dishes that will work nicely with this soup. Below are a couple of ideas that I love.
I love having this minestrone with some crunchy garlic bread or sourdough on the side. Both are perfect for dipping into the soup and soaking up all those lovely flavors. However, with the pasta in the soup, you might find extra bread may be too many carbs for your liking.
One little extra tweak that I love doing is topping the soup with a bit of shaved parmesan cheese. Parmesan really does go great with any kind of pasta dish.
If you love videos, then I made a quick video on how to make this minestrone soup in the slow cooker. If you like it, then be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel so you are kept up to date. Alternatively, there is a full written recipe below the video.
Olive Garden Copycat Minestrone Soup 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock 1 1/2 cups water 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes 1 cup diced celery (3 stalks) 1 cup diced carrots (2 carrots) 1 cup diced yellow onion (1 small) 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried) 2 tsp dried basil 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp dried crushed rosemary 2 bay leaves 1/2 tsp sugar Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 1/3 cups diced zucchini (1 small) 1 1/3 cups shell pasta 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15 oz) can white navy beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1 (14.5 oz) can Italian green beans, drained 2 cups slightly packed chopped fresh spinach Finely shredded Romano cheese, for serving (Parmesan works too) Add vegetable stock, water, tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and sugar to a 6 or 7-quart slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 6 – 8 hours or high 3 – 4 hours. Add in zucchini, pasta, garlic, kidney beans and white beans and cook on high heat and additional 30 – 40 minutes until pasta is tender. Stir in spinach and Italian green beans and cook several minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese. Variations
Make it thicker – If you don’t want as much broth in your soup, you can reduce the amount of broth to make it a bit thicker.
Make it spicy – Add in some crushed red peppers or slice up a couple fresh jalapenos and toss them in during the first step.
Add in more vegetables – Since this soup was created to use up vegetables, add in one you have on hand or have an abundance of. You don’t have to stick just to the vegetables included.
Add meat – If you prefer, you can add in some cooked chicken, cooked ground beef, cooked ground turkey, etc. This will add a bit of protein and make the soup even heartier.
Make it creamy – If you would like your slow cooker minestrone soup to be a little creamier, you can add in more cheese or toss in some heavy cream.
Easy Minestrone Soup
If you have ever ordered the Minestrone Soup from Olive Garden you know that minestrone soup is packed full of so much goodness and flavor. This minestrone soup is one of the easiest soups you'll ever make! You'll need to slice and dice a few fresh vegetables, but otherwise, you'll just dump everything into the crockpot and a few hours later you're almost ready to have this delicious soup for dinner.
The last 30 minutes before you're ready to eat you'll throw in some of your favorite small pasta noodles, zucchini, and some canned beans. At the last second toss in some fresh spinach if desired.
Hi! It's Aimee from Like Mother, Like Daughter - where I'm all over sharing my favorite easy family dinners and desserts. I'm back again today sharing one of my favorite soups with you, and even better? It's made in the slow cooker!
How to make this soup
This recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat, but one pound will do just fine. Most of the time I use only one pound but if I’m having friends over, I use 2 to make the dish heartier. If you do only use one pound of meat, I would just add more veggies.
Lastly, for the pasta, try and use small pasta like macaroni, ditalini or small shells. Pasta that is any bigger than those ones will take up too much room in your slow cooker and soak up too much liquid. If that does happen, just add more water.
Slow-Cooker Sausage Minestrone Recipe
You&rsquoll crave this colorful dish for cozy nights in when it&rsquos cold outside. There&rsquos nothing better than warm soup, and making it in a slow cooker is even more appealing. We recommend going Southern with sausage and buying Conecuh. Made in Alabama, Conecuh is a smoked sausage made with a great blend of seasoning and smoked over a pure Hickory fire. It&rsquoll add extra flavor to this already-flavorful meal. Cornbread would be the perfect partner for this crowd-pleasing dish. Try this classic skillet-baked cornbread that will have the family coming back for seconds. The crust is so golden and crispy. The sausage and vegetables freeze well and taste even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld together. If you&rsquore planning to enjoy the soup later, prepare the pasta separately so it doesn&rsquot turn mushy. Tip from the test kitchen: Stir in the sliced collards at the end so they retain a bit of texture. If you use pre-chopped, bagged greens, be sure to remove and discard any tough stems.
Slow Cooker Lentil Minestrone
Warming and healthy Slow Cooker Lentil Minestrone. A mix of vegetables, tomatoes, chicken or veggie stock, parmesan, herbs, pasta and, lentils, simmered slowly while you sleep or work.
I wanted to share a simple, yet healthy and warming winter soup.
Why I love this recipe
- I can throw it into a slow cooker before I go to bed and it will be hot and steamy when I finish a long, cold run in the morning.
- I can toss the ingredients into a slow cooker in the morning and let it do its magic all day for a quick supper.
- It’s brothy. I LOVE brothy soups.
- It’s loaded with healthy and nutritious ingredients. Low in calories high in nutrition.
- I love lentils.
- This recipe can be made in an Instant Pot in about 20 minutes. Great for the days I forget to think about what’s for dinner until it’s TIME for dinner!
What type of lentil is best for this recipe?
- Green or brown lentils work best.
- My favorite lentils to use are French Green Lentils. They do take longer to cook than regular green lentils. It’s best to soak them in water overnight or bring them to a boil, cover, and let sit for an hour.
- Regular green lentils cook quickly but can fall apart if overcooked in a pressure cooker.
- Red or yellow lentils would NOT work well for this recipe. They may become too soft. They are great for Middle Eastern or Indian recipes.
Stock or broth?
There isn’t a lot of difference between the two. Chicken or beef stock is generally made from bones and cartilage along with vegetables and is cooked for several hours. Once chilled the stock will turn into a gelatin form. This makes it richer than a broth. Broth is made from boiling meat for a shorter period of time along with some aromatics. They can be used interchangeably for most soup recipes. When purchasing stock or broth, look for a shorter ingredient list that contains vegetables with little additives or preservatives and low sodium. If you are vegetarian or Vegan, use a vegetable broth.
Let’s make Slow Cooker Lentil Minestrone
What to serve with minestrone soup
- Veggies: This soup already includes zucchini, carrots, and green beans, but there’s no reason an extra side of sautéd broccoli or bell peppers wouldn’t be a great addition! Keep this dish vegetarian and turn up the health meter with your favorite, colorful veggie side.
- Carbs: This delicious soup recipe calls for anything starchy! Personally, I like to serve this soup with a nice helping of parmesan cheese and bread for dipping.
- Salads: Already pretty heavy and hearty, lighten up the dish with a simple, fresh side salad. Make your own soup and salad lunch and have the perfect work-from-home dining experience.