Vegetarian Minestrone Recipe (Slow-Cooker)

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By Ollie Cartwright

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Healthy and hearty, this Vegetarian Minestrone recipe is just what you’ve been craving on a cold winter day….and, it’s perfect as a make-ahead meal.

Vegetarian Minestrone

How to Make Vegetarian Minestrone

A detailed recipe with full quantities can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

Step 1: Chop your onion, celery, and tomato. Peel the carrots and then chop them. Trim & remove core from your fennel bulb, then finely chop it. Crush your 3 garlic cloves. Finely grate 6 Tbsp of parmesan, place it in a covered bowl, and then refrigerate it for later.

Step 2: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add your chopped onion, celery, carrots, and fennel. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and onions are translucent.

Step 3: Add the three crushed garlic cloves to your soffritto + fennel in the frying pan. Cook (stirring) for 1 minute until aromatic.

Step 4: Transfer the ingredients from your frying pan into a large (6 liter or more) slow cooker. Stir in your stock, chopped tomatoes, beans, and parmesan rind. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Tip

If you’re making this soup specifically to freeze for later, stop after 6 hours in the slow cooker, remove the parmesan rind, cool, and freeze in a high-quality bag. When ready, thaw and continue by simmering for 35 minutes, then add the noodles for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Remove the parmesan rind. Add the pasta to your soup. Stir well to ensure the pasta is fully mixed in, then cover and cook for 30 more minutes or until pasta is al dente. Chop 2 cups of kale leaves then add to the soup. Cover. Cook 5 more minutes.

Step 6: Ladle the hot soup into individual bowls. Top each with 1 tbsp pesto. Garnish it with basil and grated parmesan. Serve with the bread of your choice. I prefer a nice baguette and use it to soak up some of that soupy goodness.

Vegetarian Minestrone Recipe

0.0 from 0 votes
Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

6

hours 

35

minutes
Total time

6

hours 

50

minutes
Cook Mode

Keeps the screen of your device ON

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp – Olive Oil

  • 1 1 – Red Onion (finely chopped)

  • 3 3 – Carrots (peeled, finely chopped)

  • 3 3 – Celery Sticky (finely chopped)

  • 1 1 – Fennel Bulb (trimmed, core removed, finely chopped)

  • 3 3 – Garlic Cloves (crushed)

  • 10 cups 2.5 l – Vegetable Stock (liquid)

  • 14 oz 400 g – Tomatoes (finely chopped)

  • 14 oz 400 g – Borlotti Beans (or any kidney bean of choice, drained, rinsed)

  • 8 oz 225 g – Parmesan Rind

  • 1 cup 0.25 l – Macaroni (small, dried)

  • 1.5 cups 0.35 l – Kale Leaves (chopped)

  • 6 tbsp 6 tbsp – Basil Pesto

  • 1/2 cup 12 g – Basil Leaves (fresh, purple or green, whole or rough chopped)

  • 6 tbsp 6 tbsp – Parmesan (finely grated)

  • 1 loaf 1 loaf – Bread (baguette or French bread)

Directions

  • Prep Ingredients
    Chop the onion, celery, and tomato. Peel and then chop carrots. Trim, remove core, and then finely chop the fennel bulb. Crush your 3 garlic cloves. Finely grate 6 Tbsp of parmesan, place in covered bowl and refrigerate.
  • Soffritto + Fennel
    Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and fennel. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  • Garlic
    Add crushed garlic cloves and cook (stirring) for 1 minute until aromatic.
  • Slow Cooker + Other Ingredients
    Transfer ingredients from frying pan to large (6 liter or more) slow cooker. Stir in stock, chopped tomatoes, beans, and parmesan rind. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Add Pasta
    Remove parmesan rind. Add pasta to slow cooker. Stir to combine, then cover. Cook for 30 more minutes or until pasta is al dente. Add 2 cups chopped kale leaves. Cover. Cook 5 more minutes.
  • Plate, Garnish & Serve
    Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with 1 tbsp pesto. Garnish with basil and grated parmesan. Serve with bread.

Tweaks

Here are some tweaks you may enjoy:

  • More Pesto: If the strange looks turned to “yummy!” once everyone tried the pesto on top, go for 2 tbsp per bowl next time.
  • Sour Cream: If the pesto just isn’t doing it for you, try adding a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream on top of each serving for added creaminess. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes can add a hint of spice if you’re into that sort of thing 😉
  • Additional Vegetables: I’m a huge fan of hearty soup! Otherwise, I’ll be hungry again in about an hour. Consider adding more vegetables such as diced zucchini and summer squash (yellow squash), or diced potatoes for added texture and substance.
  • Herbs and Spices: Try adding dried Italian herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary to change the flavour profile a bit.
  • Meat: Gotta have meat? Give one of these a try: Italian sausage, ground turkey or beef, pancetta, or ham. Each will add it’s own special flavour to the meal. Don’t forget to cook the meat in a separate skillet before adding it to the soup.

Storage

If you double the recipe and save it, it’s perfect for your mid-week meal. Here’s how to store it properly…

Refrigerate: This soup will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. Don’t forget to allow the soup to fully cool before placing it in the fridge.

Freeze: Chunky soups like this can be frozen for around three months before degrading. Particularly picky eaters will notice a degradation of the noodles regardless of how long it was frozen.

Reheat: The easiest way to defrost this soup is by allowing it to thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheating it on the stovetop. Alternatively, you can place it in the microwave in a container that is both ventilated and has a lid. Set the microwave on the defrost setting until it’s steaming hot.

FAQs

Can I Use Previously Frozen Vegetables for this Dish?

Yes! Generally, you can freeze food once raw and again once cooked. This means it’s perfect for those carrots, celery, onion, fennel, and courgettes you froze fresh earlier.

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