We had our first snowfall in Winnipeg in early October and even though I’ve been making soups weekly since September, this snowfall really inspired me to have some solid soup recipes on deck for the winter.
A few weeks ago, I shared my super easy Slow Cooker Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup. It’s a favorite because it’s salty, has a variety of textures and it’s EASY! This Minestrone soup checks all those boxes too!
Meal prep friendly
What makes this soup super easy is that it takes literally five minutes to throw together in the slow cooker, once you have the ingredients prepped. Chop veggies, rinse and drain beans, mix and that’s pretty much it. The finishing touches really make this soup stand out. Add some cooked pasta, pesto and parm to the bowl before serving with a slice of crusty and soft French bread.
If you read 55 ingredients to have on hand at all times, you’ll know that canned beans and tomatoes are ingredients I always try to have in the pantry. Pair that with the usual carrots and celery that I take for my lunch every week (and use the scraps for Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth, which is always in my freezer) and a bag of shredded zucchini from the summer harvest, and you don’t even need to get groceries to pull this off.
Hands-off cooking time
With the exception of cooking the pasta to add at the very end, this soup is made in the slow cooker and is ready when I’m home from work, which I appreciate. You know that feeling, when you get out of work, then you have to brush the snow off of your car and it’s cold and people are terrible drivers because it’s icy and you’re tired from a long day? Coming home to this soup makes you feel a bit better about the day.
Other delicious brothy soups
On the topic of hands-off cooking time, I find that brothy soups tend to work better in the slow cooker. Some other favorites that we have over and over are Chicken Tortilla (coming soon!), Sausage and White Bean and Green Turkey Chili.
Creamy soups worth spending some time on
When I have time for some hands-on cooking, I make these soups that I found on Pinterest quite often. I know I’m not typically a recipe follower but this Mushroom Soup from Season with Spice is seriously the best I’ve ever tried. This Broccoli Cheese Soup from Averie Cooks is also one of our favorites. I also adapted this Roasted Cauliflower Soup by Closet Cooking and swapped the cheddar for some local Bothwell Smoked Gouda. It’s to die for with some homemade garlic croutons in it! If you’re not willing to invest some time preparing one of these delicious creamy soups, this Minestrone will defintely hit the spot.
Slow-cooker Minestrone Soup
This Minstrone can easily be made with ingredients you already have in your fridge and pantry. Minimal effort and maximum flavour.
- 1 1/2 cups celery, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 oz. can canellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
- 3-6 cups vegetable broth
- pesto 1 Tbsp per bowl
- cooked short pasta (ditali, shells) 1/2 cup per bowl
- parmesan cheese to taste
Chop celery, carrots, zucchini, onion and garlic and add to slow-cooker.
Rinse and drain chick beans and beans and add to slow-cooker.
Add diced tomatoes with juice to slow-cooker.
Top with broth and add enough to fill slow-cooker.
Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.
Before serving, place 1/2 cup cooked pasta in a bowl, top with 1 Tbsp pesto and add soup.
Top with parmesan cheese and serve with crusty French bread.