My dad makes a mean minestrone, and my Abbie girl is in love with soups of all kinds! This might be her favorite. I have wanted to make crock-pot minestrone soup for a long time. I get so excited about so many different foods that I can’t always get to all the recipes I want to make. Now that it is officially fall I figured it’s time to get crackin’ on some serious soups.
When I first started out on this venture I didn’t know there are so many variations on the minestrone soup. After reading through several recipes and inspecting what we had on hand, this is what I came up with. Don’t let the fact that you might not have all these particular ingredients stop you from making this soup. Think of the recipe itself as more of a guide.
The Verdict: What a great combination of flavors! All of us enjoyed it. I didn’t add the pasta since I knew my husband would prefer it without, but I did end up throwing some leftover brown rice after initially eating it, and it was a great addition.
Soups like this are so easy and flexible. You can use half the sausage and still have a great soup. It’s even great without the meat at all. If your soup ends up too dense, just add more water. If this makes it bland, add more salt and other spices. Cabbage makes a great addition, too. Love it!
Crock-pot Minestrone Soup (Optional Sausage)
- 6 cups water, broth or a combination of the two (I used 3 cups of broth and 3 cups of water)
- _ optional,1 lb. sausage_
- 2-15 oz.cans diced tomatoes
- 1-15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 cup fresh green beans, quartered with tips removed
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, white part used
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T Italian seasoning
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- optional, 1 cup dry 100% whole wheat rigatoni pasta
- 3 cups baby spinach
- optional, Shredded Parmesan (omit for dairy-free)
- Brown sausage on the stove top.
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker except pasta, spinach, and cheese.
- Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low until the vegetables are tender, adding the spinach and pasta in the last 45 minutes.
- Top with cheese if desired, and enjoy!