This DASH Diet friendly slow cooker soup calls for minimal effort but delivers BIG payback in flavor. Sautéing the veggies helps develop the flavors, which means you can cut back on the salt. Plenty of herbs and spices also boost the flavor even further. Canned minestrone has nearly double the sodium of this recipe.
Slow Cooker Minestrone
- Slow Cooker
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 3 medium carrots peeled and diced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 quart no salt added chicken or vegetable broth
- 28 oz canned no salt added diced tomatoes
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 cup canned kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup canned white beans rinsed and drained
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- Heat oil in slow cooker set to sauté function. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add oregano and salt. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Stir in the stock, diced tomatoes, squash, beans and stir.
- Using a piece of kitchen twine, gently tie thyme sprigs and bay leaf into a bundle and toss in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours (or on LOW for 6 hours).
- With 20 minutes cook time remaining, remove lid and stir in pasta. Cover and cook for remaining time.
- When cook time is up, remove thyme bundle and discard.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve.
- Cool and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Tips … Add a piece of parmesan rind to soup for extra nutty flavor. Sprinkle with a little grated parmesan cheese before serving – each tablespoon adds about 100mg of sodium so measure out to keep track.