Homemade Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup with Pasta, Beans and Vegetables

Recipe courtesy of Robin Miller

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time:  4-8 hr
Level:  Easy
Serves: 4 servings


3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 bay leaves
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top. Garnish with basil, if desired.

To be honest I’ve never had Minestrone soup. It’s one of Michael’s favorite soups though so I decided to give it a try.

I love cooking food in the crockpot. It’s so easy and everything always tastes so good. Plus there’s always tons of leftovers for the work week lunches.

I chopped all the veggies after I got back from the pool on Sunday.

We had leftover cooked pasta in the fridge from when Michael made his famous mac n’ cheese for a work potluck so that made my job even easier!

My favorite part of cooking is honestly the prep. I love chopping vegetables and prepping food for cooking. It’s very relaxing and meditative chopping away.

I didn’t have Bay Leaves. I’ve never actually cooked a recipe with them because I never have them on hand. And why does every recipe require that you remove the Bay leaf? Are they poisonous?

I must have gotten a super strong onion because I was crying buckets while I chopped. Usually it doesn’t bother me as much. I’m also wondering if I should have used a sweet onion instead of the one I used.

I followed the instructions without deviating from the recipe much.

While dinner was cooking Michael and I watched Pan’s Labyrinth. I’d never seen it before. Wow! It was a really good (and intense) movie.

I checked on the dinner periodically, stirring and tasting it. I decided to skip adding the spinach even though I had defrosted the frozen spinach in preparation for the soup. It just didn’t sound appealing to me.

About 45 minutes before dinner I added the pasta and the zucchini.

The pasta soaked up a lot of the liquid but Michael said that was okay for Minestrone soup. I think next time I’ll add one more cup of chicken broth to it though.

I added some shredded cheese to the top of the soup and made a piece of toast from Dave’s Killer Bread.

It was a very mild flavored soup but it was hearty and good. I hadn’t been feeling well all day Sunday so soup really hit the spot.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 506 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 102
Calories from Fat15

Total Fat 1.7g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 664mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.6g
Dietary Fiber 4.8g
Sugars 9.4g
Protein 7.1g
Vitamin A 166% Vitamin C 70%
Calcium 7% Iron 11%
Nutrition Grade A
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Pretty low in calories too for such a healthy, hearty meal!

Now I’m craving French Onion Soup….

QUESTION: What’s your favorite crockpot soup recipe?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

8 thoughts on “Homemade Minestrone Soup”

  1. DEXTER! YES! lol We love that show. Can’t get enough of it. I think it’s the best show on TV right now. I didn’t think I would like it at first – it made me kinda uncomfortable…lol But now I just love it.

    The minestrone looks good, btw. I made chicken soup today because I’ve been sick with a cold. All from scratch, of course. 🙂

  2. I used a copycat olive garden recipe and in the comments they said to add some red wine and it made SO much difference. I slow cooked it all day and left out the spinach. Best minestrone I ever had.

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