Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup Recipe

This slow cooker minestrone soup makes a nutritionally-dense soup with few calories.

| November/December 2013

  • This minestrone soup is highly nutritious but low in calories.
    Photo By Bill Bettencourt

This is a nutritionally dense soup—for few calories you get a nutritional powerhouse brimming with fiber (beans), lycopene (tomatoes), beta-carotene (carrots), vitamin K (celery), sulfur compounds (onion) and a truckload of heart-healthy potassium (zucchini). The fat from the Parmesan will help you feel satiated with fewer calories. And it makes the whole thing taste amazing! For more recipes for your slow-cooker, read the original article, 5 Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes.

Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup Recipe

• 6 baby red potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled and diced (or substitute 1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and chopped)
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 ribs celery, sliced
• 1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
• 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
• 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 4 cups vegetable broth (or replace half with organic beef broth)
• 1/4 cup red wine
• 2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 bay leaf
• 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
• 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

1. Place fresh vegetables, beans, broth, red wine, tomatoes, basil, bay leaf,
oregano, salt and pepper in the slow cooker, stir gently to mix, cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until all veggies are tender. Remove bay leaf.

2. Stir in spinach and cook for 30 minutes, or until spinach is hot.

3. Add vinegar and stir to incorporate, then garnish with the Parmesan, if using, and serve. Serves 8 to 10.

Excerpted from The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth by Jonny Bowden and Jeannette Bessinger. 

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