Slow-Cooked Minestrone

When my parents came down to Georgia for my graduation and move, I was glad to have some of minestrone soup on hand, which is hearty and affordable. This recipe is derived from a recipe by Ellie Krieger, featured in the 2010 Food Network magazine. I had prepared some dried kidney beans, and this recipe seemed like the perfect use for them. Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and during the holiday season when we are eating higher quantities of rich food, it's nice to have something full of vegetables to balance our diets. The original recipe was not made in a crockpot, however it was the end of the semester and I did not have the time to tend to a simmering pot on the stove. Therefore I adapted this recipe to be cooked on its own while I was away doing everything I needed to do. The preparation of pasta outside the crockpot ensures it won't be overcooked, and is a method my mom uses on her own soups.
 

Slow-Cooked Minestrone
Printable Recipe

1 medium onion, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cut green beans
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 14.5-oz can crushed tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 3/4 cup dried kidney beans, prepared according to package directions)
1/2 cup whole wheat macaroni
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a crockpot/slow-cooker, combine all ingredients except macaroni and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Cook 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, or until all the flavors are well-blended and the vegetables are tender.
2. Cook the macaroni in salted, boiling water according to package directions; drain.
3. Stir the cooked macaroni into the soup, then serve, topped with the Parmesan.

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