Here’s the recipe I use from The Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook by Roz Denny. (My substitutions are in italic)
- 1 large leek (medium onion), thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 4 oz (1/2 c frozen cut) whole green beans, halved
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 6-1/4 c stock or water
- 14 oz can chopped tomatoes (I don’t like tomato “chunks”, so I blend this in my Magic Bullet)
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (1/2 Tbsp dried)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (1/2 tsp dried)
- 1-1/2 Tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 14 oz can cannellini or kidney beans (I prefer the dark red kidney beans)
- 1/3 c small pasta shapes like macaroni
- OPTIONAL: fresh Parmesan cheese, finely grated, and fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
- Put all fresh vegetables into a large saucepan with olive oil. Heat until sizzling then cover. Lower the heat and sweat the vegetables for 15 min, stirring occasionally.
- Add the liquid, tomatoes, herbs and seasoning. Bring to a boil, replace lid, and simmer for about 30 min.
- Add beans (with their “juices”) and pasta. Simmer for another 10 min. Check seasoning and serve.
A COUPLE OF NOTES
*I like using fresh vegetables as much as possible, but sometimes I will throw in frozen (usually green beans).
*Often times I’ll skip the pasta. I make a pot of brown rice and put that in my bowl of soup instead.
*If you’re looking for some extra iron, throw in a handful or two of fresh spinach. (Frozen will work, too.)
*I love my Crock Pot. And I love my minestrone in the Crock Pot. Especially because it can save me a LOT of time. And with a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old, more time is HUGE! Just throw everything in and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.