Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Packed with vegetables, fresh herbs and pasta this soup is the perfect Fall meal.   Turn on your crockpot and get cooking this beloved Italian soup.

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I absolutely love when I walk in the house after a long day at work and this soup has been cooking all day.  It smells so comforting.  It makes me want to grab a big bowl of it and cuddle up on the sofa.  Nothing like turning on the fire and watching your favorite tv show…..there are so many great ones on right now.

One of the things I love most about this soup is that it tastes so flavorful all while being healthy for your body.  It doesn’t taste like you are eating a low calorie, diet meal at all.  It has so much flavor and leaves you feeling really satisfied.

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This recipe makes quite a bit of soup…..so you will have plenty of leftovers—-which I love leftover soup.  I like to be able to take it for lunch a few days that week.

This time I used carrot chips.  If you haven’t tried these you should.  I use them for hummus, vegetable dip etc.  They are so much more fun to eat than baby carrots.  And it gives the soup a little personality 🙂

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Don’t be intimidated by the sun-dried tomato pesto.  It really makes this soup……it adds so much great flavor.  It’s really easy to find…..any grocery store should have it.  If you feel up to it you can use fresh green beans as well.  Whenever I can I always go fresh.  If you want to save on time I recommend frozen over canned.  They seem to taste better to me.

Before this recipe I don’t think I had ever put spinach in my soup.  I absolutely love it in there!  Even if you aren’t a spinach lover I think you will really like that addition.  You could substitute chard for the spinach if you choose.  Chard stays a little firmer than spinach does.  Another tip is to add the spinach to it when you are heating it up instead of to the whole pot…..sometimes I like to do that.

Top with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese…….it adds the perfect touch!  I prefer a little of both.  Let this soup keep you warm…..enjoy.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto (easy to find in grocery store and the secret ingredient here)
1 parmesan rind (very important)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 cup chopped fresh basil
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cup white onion, diced
1½ cups squash, diced
1½ cups zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
1½ cup sweet white corn
1 cup carrots (I used the carrot chips but you can just dice them if you can’t find the carrot chips)
1¼ cup celery, diced
1½ cups ditalini pasta
8 ounce bag of chopped spinach
Finely shredded Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, parmesan rind, vegetable stock, water, onion, celery, carrots, green beans, corn, garlic, rosemary, oregano, basil and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
  2. Add red kidney beans, great northern beans, squash, zucchini, corn and pasta and cook on high heat for an additional 1 hour or until pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and cook for an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Serve warm topped with mozzarella or parmesan cheese and garlic toasts.