Slow Cooker Creamy Minestrone Soup is the perfect warm you up meal you’ll enjoy through the winter months that is healthy and hearty and made with no cream!
Slow Cooker Creamy Minestrone Soup is a meal we make as our backup dinners all winter long because it’s hearty, healthy and despite tasting creamy it actually contains no cream at all in it! The secret is in the cannelini beans!
Fall cooking to me is all about meals that help warm you up from the inside out. I know, I know, I live in California. That makes me even more sensitive to when the weather cools down since we’re used to it staying so warm.
I immediately reach for soups or stews or basically any meal I can put in a bowl, grab a spoon and curl up with a blanket while eating. One of my friends, April from Mama Loves Food, has the most amazing Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup that I am enjoying as I am typing this. That tells you how much I love slow cooker soups!
This Slow Cooker Creamy Minestrone Soup is the perfect mix of flavors and it actually gives you the feeling you’re eating something indulgent while you save those calories for your upcoming holiday parties!
The only indulgent ingredient in the soup is the Parmesan cheese which means you can throw caution to the wind and add that handful of cheese.
The way we make this soup creamy is by taking a whole can of white beans and pureeing it in the food processor before adding it to the slow cooker. This faux cream is pumped up by a showering of Parmesan Cheese.
You can certainly make this soup for holiday parties or pot lucks, the only thing I will caution you to do it make sure you add in the ingredients in the order written below. The pasta, zucchini and spinach need far less cooking time than the rest of the ingredients. If you were to add them all at once you’d have pasta that has melted into a mess and yellowed zucchini and spinach.
Keep the flavors bright by adding them in the right order and you’ll absolutely love this soup!
Tools used in the making of this Slow Cooker Creamy Minestrone Soup:
Slow Cooker: I have a collection of slow cookers and 9 times out of 10 I’d recommend my All-Clad one with the aluminum insert. When it comes to soups I actually reach for my porcelain insert slow cooker for gentler cooking.
Food Processor: I love buying kitchen electrics and I have my fair share of expensive ones, but when it comes to food processors I stand firmly in the camp of you ABSOLUTELY do not need to go expensive. I’ve had my same one, from Hamilton Beach, since 2005 and it has never failed me.
Tomato Paste: I used to buy cans of tomato paste but buying it by the tube creates a lot less food waste and the flavor of this tomato paste is absolutely perfect and strong!
- 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 ounces parmesan chunk, cut into 1" chunks
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 leaves bay
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 can (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 oz) can cannelini beans, drained and processed until smooth in your food processor
- 2 medium zucchini diced
- 6 ounces ditalini or elbow pasta
- 1 cup green beans cut in half
- 3 cups baby spinach
- Parmesan Cheese for serving
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, parmesan, vegetable stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves, Kosher salt, black pepper, kidney beans, great northern beans and pureed cannelini beans to a slow cooker.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
minutes before you are ready to serve, turn the slow cooker to high heat if it wasn't already on high heat.
Add in the zucchini and pasta.
In the last five minutes (20 minutes after adding the pasta and spinach) add in your green beans and spinach and stir.
Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.