Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Minestrone Soup

I love to make soups once the weather turns cold. This one was a bonus, as the crockpot does the cooking for me! My whole family loved this soup - my kids especially liked the little pasta. I liked that the veggies were still a little crisp. You might want to have more broth on hand for the leftovers (there's plenty!). This soup will freeze well too.

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
2 bay leaves
salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)

In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.

Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini, and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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