Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

While I was on bed rest for the wisdom teeth removal surgery I watched America's Test Kitchen on PBS. This slow cooker minestrone soup was featured and I knew it would be perfect for us to have now. I made it a few days after watching the recipe because it was a great option for needing softer foods.

The recipe does require quite a lot of prep before going in to the slow cooker but the soup is amazing! I debated halving the recipe but decided to make the full recipe with freezing intentions. We were able to put 3 two cup portions into the freezer so it worked out well.

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Adapted from Cook's Country & Lemons and Lavender blog
   Recipe from Cooks Country August/September 2010
1 cup dried medium-sized white beans, rinsed and picked over
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions chopped fine
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves chopped
1/2 cup small soup pasta (I used Ditalini)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish


   Cook Beans.  Bring beans and enough water to cover by 1 inch to low boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until beans are just beginning to soften, about 20 minutes.  Drain beans and transfer to slow cooker.
   Saute aromatics.  Heat 3 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes and cook until pan is nearly dry, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in broth, water, 1/2 cup basil, oregano, and pepper flakes and bring to boil; transfer to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low until beans are tender, 6 to 7 hours (or cook on high 5 to 6 hours).
   Finish Soup.  Stir zucchini, chard, and pasta into slow cooker and cook, covered, on high until pasta is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.  Stir in remaining basil (chopped if you’d prefer) and remaining oil.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with Parmesan cheese.


  1. This sounds so good. It is always great to have a quick meal in the freezer.

  2. I appreciate the recipe, because when you attempt to look at ATK or Cooks Country websites, the recipe is blurred, and unless you sign up for some cooking classes. It is labor intensive, but worth the effort.

  3. Thanks so much for the recipe, I'm with Widow Evans, hate the thought of paying cooks country for it, I took the time to watch their show, they should give it to me for the asking!

  4. Cool! I'll try making my own version soon.