Garden Minestrone

  • Dust off your slow cooker to try a recipe for garden minestrone that appears in the cookbook "Complete Slow Cooker."

    Dust off your slow cooker to try a recipe for garden minestrone that appears in the cookbook "Complete Slow Cooker." Carl Tremblay for America's Test Kitchen and AP

Posted10/2/2018 6:00 AM

1 onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, minced


1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

1½ teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 cup dried great Northern or cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed

2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

½ cup small pasta, such as ditalini, tubettini, or elbow macaroni

Salt and pepper

1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick

8 ounces Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced ½ inch thick

½ cup chopped fresh basil

Grated Parmesan cheese

You'll need a 4- to 7-quart slow cooker. Microwave onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, oregano, and pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in broth, tomato sauce, beans, and carrots. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 8 to 10 hours on high.

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Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Add pasta and 1½ teaspoons salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, then toss with remaining 1 teaspoon oil in bowl; set aside.

Stir zucchini and chard into soup, cover, and cook on high until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in pasta and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing Parmesan and extra oil separately.

Serves 6 to 8

Nutrition information per serving: 224 calories; 46 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 1 mg cholesterol; 601 mg sodium; 34 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 11 g protein.

America's Test Kitchen

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