This is by far the best recipe you’ll ever try for Minestrone soup – a classic, hearty Italian soup with tomatoes, white beans, vegetables and pasta.
- 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed (cannellini or navy)
- 32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- 1 medium 8 oz zucchini, diced
- 2 cups chopped fresh (or frozen defrosted) spinach
- 2 cups cooked small pasta such as ditalini, al dente (or GF pasta)
- extra parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
- Puree beans with 1 cup of the broth in a blender. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer to the crock pot along with the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, basil and parsley, cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
- Forty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves, rosemary sprig, parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into 8 bowls with 1/4 cup pasta in each and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.