Family Dinners: Slow Cooker Minestrone

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on November 20, 2009

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I almost didn’t post this recipe because I wasn’t very happy with it at first. But when we had it for leftovers all week my mind changed. And it seemed to taste better each time we tried it. One night in a pinch for dinner it was minestrone soup with grilled cheese sandwiches…yum.

I cut the veggies the night before and put them in separate bowls in the fridge. One bowl contained the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and other bowl was full of cabbage and zucchini.

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The biggest pain was sautéing the veggies in the morning. It was a work day so I didn’t have a lot of extra time. I ALWAYS forget to take the recipe prep time and double or triple it for me. I’m a novice (and messy) cook and it always takes me much longer than the recipe authors say it will. After I make something a few times I get quicker at it.

I combined all the ingredients and put them in the 6 quart slow cooker pot. My slow cooker has three interchangeable sizes of 2, 4 and 6 quarts. I like that you can leave this one on low up to 9 hours. Perfect for a work day.

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One last thing, I used pasta I already had instead of the acini de pepe the recipe calls for.

Makes: 8-10 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4-9 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 6-quart

Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6-oz can tomato paste
14.5 oz can chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
24-oz can pinto beans, undrained
10-oz pkg. frozen green beans
2-3 cups chopped cabbage
1 medium zucchini, sliced
8 cups water
2 Tbsp parsley
2 Tbsp. Italian spice
1 tsp. salt, or more
½ tsp. pepper
¾ cup dry acini de pepe (small round pasta)
Grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

1. Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil until tender.
2. Combine all ingredients except pasta and cheese in slow cooker.
3. Cover. Cook 4-5 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low, adding pasta 1 hour before cooking is complete.
4. Top individual servings with cheese.

“Reprinted from Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook. Copyright by Good Books (www.GoodBooks.com). Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Estela @ Weekly Bite November 20, 2009 at 7:27 am

I love slow-cooker meals! I do think soups get better and better each day :)

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