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homemade minestrone soup



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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 360 minutes

Total: 375 minutes

Servings: 8


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Step 1

In a large 6 quart slow cooker, add carrots, celery, garlic, onions, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and bay leaves. Stir in vegetable broth and water (use less if you like it less watery) into the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours (time varies according to your slow cooker - adjust times as needed)

Step 2

20-30 minutes before serving, stir in kidney beans, cannellini beans, zucchini and pasta and cook on HIGH until pasta is tender.**(SEE NOTE below on freezing)

Step 3

Stir in spinach and season with more salt and pepper as needed and stir in balsamic vinegar (if using) and serve warm with bread and top with parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley if desired.

Step 4

***NOTE about pasta - **If you plan to freeze this or serve the next day, leave out the pasta and cook on the side and then combine when you are ready to enjoy. This helps the pasta not get soggy.

Step 5

In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Step 6

Add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and onion and saute for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.

Step 7

Add basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, bay leaves, vegetable broth, water, zucchini and both of the beans.

Step 8

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Step 9

** Stir in the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked. Stir in the spinach and allow to wilt (about 1-2 minutes). Add more water as needed if you like a thinner soup. (***you can also cook the pasta directly with the soup but this soaks up more water so you may have to add more water. Just add the pasta after simmering for 20 minutes, then bring to a boil and allow to cook for another 8-10 minutes or until pasta is tender)

Step 10

Season with more salt and pepper as needed and stir in balsamic vinegar (if using) and serve warm with bread and top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley if desired.

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