This colorful vegetable soup is a great excuse to pull out the slow cooker in the summer months. A dollop of pesto on top adds both freshness and flavor. You can experiment with different vegetables throughout the season, such as corn kernels, red bell peppers and pattypan or crookneck squashes.
Slow-Cooker Summer Minestrone
2 cans (14 oz./440 g) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (14 1/2 oz./455 g) diced tomatoes with juice
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 Yukon gold potatoes, about 3/4 lb. (375 g) total weight, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l) low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb. (250 g) green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
2 small zucchini, finely diced
Purchased or homemade pesto for garnish
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
In the slow cooker, combine the cannellini beans, tomatoes and their juice, carrots, onion, celery, potatoes, thyme, broth, 2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Stir to mix well. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
Uncover, add the green beans and zucchini, and stir to mix well. Re-cover and continue to cook on low for 1 hour. The vegetables should be tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Ladle into shallow individual bowls and top each serving with a dollop of pesto and a sprinkle of
Parmesan. Serve immediately. Serves 8.
Learn to make the most of your slow cooker with this and other inspiring
recipes in our Quick Slow Cooking, by Kim Laidlaw.