So, I know the holidays are typically the time for the most indulgent of recipes, for those treats that we only make once a year. That may be true for the Christmas parties, cookie exchanges, and other get-togethers we attend. But, obviously every meal can’t be indulgent, heavy, or rich… otherwise, January would come as a big shocker (emphasis on the “big”). Ha! I can’t pass up a big ‘ole platter of Christmas cookies myself–especially when my Mom’s sugar cookies are involved, but I feel a little bit better about it when I’ve had a filling, healthy dinner first. I know, I know… but some filling, healthy dinners are actually good. Really, really good.
This Minestrone Soup is simple, classic, and SO good. It’s overloaded with veggies and has just the right amount of beans and pasta to make it filling–normally soups don’t fill me up, but this one does like none other. I’ve already made it twice in the past month and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Since it’s a crockpot recipe, it’s incredibly easy to throw together in the morning or even the night before and just let it simmer all day long. The house will smell incredible during this time and I bet you won’t be able to resist cracking the lid for a quick taste.
The first time I made it, I was certain I’d have to add more herbs or seasoning, but it was perfect as is. Minestrone Soup always seemed complicated to me, but once I made it I realized that it’s one of the most un-fussy and delicious soups imaginable. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have! Thanks for reading, and I’d love to see you over at The Pajama Chef soon. :)
Minestrone Soup [adapted from Robin Miller]
- 6-9 cups reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 2 bay leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup ditalini pasta, dry
- 2 cups chopped spinach or kale, tightly packed
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
In a large crockpot, combine 6 cups broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, and bay leaves. Stir and season with freshly ground black pepper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
About 45-50 minutes before soup is done, cook pasta according to package directions, then add to crockpot along with the spinach or kale. Just before serving, stir in Parmesan cheese.
Serve with warm, crusty bread and enjoy!
Time: 30 minutes prep + 6-8 hours to cook.
Yield: 8 servings.
Notes: We never eat the entire pot of soup at once, so I’ve found I have to add an extra 1-3 cups of broth to the soup when serving it as leftovers because of some of the broth is absorbed by the veggies and pasta. The full amount of broth is noted in the ingredient list. If you like a thicker soup this won’t be necessary, but otherwise I’ve found it’s too chunky to be really called soup at its leftover stage!
Thank you Sarah for the wonderful post. Please check out more of Sarah’s delicious recipes at The Pajama Chef.