Photo Credit: Philip Ficks

White Bean & Veggie Minestrone + Pesto

Whether it’s a dreary day that’s begging for something nourishing or a sun-filled evening that’s calling for a light meal, this vegetable-heavy minestrone hits the mark.

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minestrone

White Bean & Veggie Minestrone + Pesto

Whether it’s a dreary day that’s begging for something nourishing or a sun-filled evening that’s calling for a light meal, this vegetable-heavy minestrone hits the mark.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Slow Cooker TIme: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Course: Soup
Keyword: minestrone, minestrone soup, pesto
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Stovetop Prep:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slow Cooker:

  • 2 quarts vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can baby Roma tomatoes or 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups dried cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (2- to 3-inch) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups chopped Swiss chard or spinach
  • 2 cups diced zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pasta:

  • 3/4 cup macaroni or ditalini pasta (regular or gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Serving:

  • Pesto
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions

Slow Cooker Jump Starts:

  • Cook the onion and refrigerate.
  • Chop and refrigerate the carrots, garlic, Swiss chard, and zucchini (store the zucchini and chard separately).

Prepare the Stovetop Ingredients:

  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-­high heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, toss the onion with the oil in a heatproof bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, and microwave on high, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.) Scrape the onion and oil into a 4- to 7-quart slow cooker.

Assemble the Slow Cooker:

  • Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, Italian seasoning, and pepper flakes to the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, 8 to 10 hours on low (high heat is not recommended, as the beans will fall apart).
  • Add the Swiss chard and zucchini to the slow cooker, and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the zucchini is bright green and crisp tender, about 20 minutes.

Cook the Pasta:

  • In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the soup, along with the lemon juice and parsley. Season well with salt and pepper (the beans soak up a lot of seasoning, so you’ll need more than you think).

Serve:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and dollop with a spoonful of pesto. Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Storage:

  • The minestrone can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Notes

slow cooker cookbookExcerpted from Fresh flavors for the Slow Cooker © 2019 by Nicki Sizemore. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

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