"An easy to make and hearty meatless soup with a melody of herbs and fresh produce that's slow cooked in your crock pot. It freezes well, too!"
When I first sat down to write this post, I was totally going to fangirl about 1) this minestrone soup recipe and 2) fall. Because, honestly, I love fall – from the colors to the leaves to the flavors to the holidays, there’s just nothing I don’t love about this time of year.
… It’s just that, here in Phoenix, we don’t really have a fall. The weather doesn’t start to change until late October. The few trees we have with actual leaves don’t start to turn until January, when the first frosts hit. And even then, the new leaves begin to grow back just a month or two later.
The picturesque fall I know and love are from my memories of living in Virginia.
So while I’m still going to totally fangirl to you about fall, please forgive me if I have a bit of weather bipolar disorder. One minute I’m going to be talking to you about the end of summer and clinging to the good weather while the next I’m going to be losing my cool over a slice of pumpkin cheesecake.
This is me trying to reconcile 100+ degree weather while all of my Facebook friends wear scarves and take strolls through leaf-covered streets.
I cope by making wholesome soups. This way I can at least let my tastebuds believe it’s fall.
Another great part about fall: crock pot cooking.
My crock pot doesn’t get near the action it should, but I always use it more during the cooler months.
I think this is because I associate the cooler months as being more fragrant. Because really, there’s no shortage of wonderful smells in our futures: pumpkin, cinnamon, turkey, ham. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to experiencing all of those in the coming months.
I guess that’s where the crock pot association comes in, because crock pots are notorious for making your whole house smell delicious.
And let me tell you, that was totally true for this soup.
Another thing I love about this soup?
There’s no meat in it.
I know, I must sound crazy, but between you and me? In most cases, I prefer meat to be its own stand-alone event. If I’m going to have meat then I’m going to have meat and nothing else is going to get in the way.
So the fact that this is a meatless soup that showcases some delicious vegetables (and pasta!) is totally okay with me.
notes & tips for this minestrone soup recipe:
- This soup isn’t difficult to make on the stovetop, but I’ve always liked the convenience of a crock pot, and this minestrone soup is a perfect example of what a crock pot can do. I’m a big fan of this crock pot – it has three sizes in one!
- Like the soup bowls used in these photos? They’re actually made by the official Crock Pot brand (who knew they sold more than cookers, amirite?) You can pick up a set of two here: crock pot soup bowls.
- Some of you might like this soup because you had a version of it at Olive Garden before. If you like making Olive Garden copycat recipes at home, be sure to check out Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana and Baked Parmesan Shrimp.
- If you’re in the mood for more soup, there’s also Stovetop Beef and Guinness Stew, Weight Loss Wonder Soup, Lasagna Soup, Crock Pot Ham and Vegetable Soup, Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup, Crock Pot Creamy Potato Soup.
Crock Pot Minestrone Soup
- 8 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 29 oz diced tomatoes (about 2 cans)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup yellow onion roughly chopped
- 1 cup carrots shredded
- 1 1/2 cup celery roughly chopped
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp fresh oregano roughly chopped
- 2 tsp fresh parsley roughly chopped
- 1 pinch salt to taste
- 1 pinch black pepper to taste
- 2 cup baby spinach
- 2 cup zucchini cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cup green beans ends cut and halved (fresh or frozen)
- 14.5 oz kidney beans
- 14.5 oz great northern beans
- 2/3 cup elbow macaroni
- shredded parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
In a large crock pot, add the following ingredients: vegetable broth, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, yellow onion, carrots, celery, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and salt and pepper (to taste). Gently stir ingredients together.
- Cover crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Add in baby spinach, zucchini, green beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, and elbow macaroni. Stir soup and recover. If you were previously cooking on LOW, cook soup for another hour. If you were previously cooking on HIGH, cook soup for another 30 minutes.
- Once cooked, serve soup with parmesan cheese as a topping. Soup can stand in the refrigerator (covered) for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 4-6 months.