Healthy Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

It is February.

It is cold.

You are probably very busy.

Wouldn’t you like to come home from work today and find dinner ready for you on the counter?

I thought so.

That’s where this soup comes in. I find it comforting, flavorful, and filling. It is friendly to your waistline if you are still going strong on a New Year’s Resolution, as there are only 215 calories in a generous 1 1/2 cup serving.

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I think the key to this soup is using fresh herbs. I tried it once with dried basil and parsley, but it wasn’t nearly as good. The parmesan rind also helps a LOT. It is a sneaky way to infuse the entire soup with nutty parmesan flavor while it cooks without actually adding a ton of cheese. If you go to the grocery store and buy a real chunk of parmesan (or pecorino romano) cheese, cut the hard rind off the end and add it to the soup. You wouldn’t be able to eat the hard rind anyway, so this provides a nice way to get more out of your money. Just be sure to remove it before you serve.

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Grate the rest of the parmesan and add a spoonful to your soup. Enjoy!

Healthy Crock Pot Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained, rinsed (cannellini or navy)
  • 6 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
  • 1 oz chunk of good Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 spring of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta like ditalini or elbows (al dente)
  • extra parmesan cheese to top

1. Rinse and drain beans. Chop onion, carrots, garlic, and herbs.

2. In the crock pot, combine the beans, onion, carrots, garlic, herbs, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, parmesan rind, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

3. Forty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add zucchini. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Add cooked pasta, cook 10 minutes more. Remove bay leaves and parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with extra parmesan cheese.

Servings:6. Nutritional information per serving: Calories- 215 Fat- 0.7 g Protein-8.7 g Carbs 42.0 g Fiber 6.7 g

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.com

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