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BRIAN IN THE KITCHEN  brought to you by Stittsworth Meats

September 25 2009

Minestrone Soup with Pasta, Beans and Vegetables

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 pasta
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Basil sprigs, garnish, optional

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 pasta, 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.