Slow-Cooker Green Minestrone

This spring soup is so easy thanks to your slow-cooker.

Slow-Cooker Green Minestrone
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
10 mins
Slow Cook Time:
4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 40 mins
Servings:
8

This soup is spring in a slow cooker. In this recipe for Slow-Cooker Green Minestrone Soup, all the green garden goodness that spring has to offer finds its way into one warming bowl. Cooking this soup low and slow for 4 ½ hours builds up complex layers of flavor; the broth gets its dynamic taste from the slow infusion with the celery, leek, green onion, and garlic, picking up a subtle spice along the way from the crushed red pepper. Since the beans, spinach, and peas don't require as long of a cook time, we add them later in the process to help retain their rich color.

This soup is incredibly flavorful from all of the added aromatics, but a bevy of vegetables (snap peas, baby spinach, and sweet peas) keeps it light and fresh. The vegetables retain a bit of their crunch, which is exactly what we want in a springtime minestrone. All of these ingredients are readily available at the grocery store, but be sure to check out your local farmer's market to get the freshest and most vibrant produce.

We can't help but top this soup with grated Parmesan, a shower of fresh dill, and a swirl of olive oil, which really are the ideal finishing touches. With a warm piece of sourdough for dunking, this soup is a completely healthy and satisfying meal.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth

  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions (about 5 scallions)

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ Tbsp. sliced)crushed red pepper

  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups thinly sliced)

  • 3 celery stalks, cut diagonally into thin slices (about 1 cup sliced)

  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • 8 ounces fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed and diagonally cut in half crosswise (about1 ½ cups) 

  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach

  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed 

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Chopped fresh dill

Directions

  1. Stir together broth, scallions, garlic, leek, celery, salt, black pepper, and red pepper in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until vegetables are tender, about 4 hours. Stir in beans, snap peas, spinach, and sweet peas. Cover and continue cooking on LOW until peas are tender, about 30 more minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese, and garnish with olive oil and dill. Serve immediately.

Tips

Preserve the bright hues and delicate flavors of the peas and spinach by adding them toward the end of the cooking process.

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