A chunky Italian soup, there is no fixed recipe for minestrone. It can contain meat, it can be vegetarian, and the vegetables vary from region to region, and from season to season.
It is essentially a peasant soup — very rustic and comforting. It is pronounced the way it is spelled; no long “o” and long “i”, and no silent “e”.
For me, minestrone is an ideal make ahead soup. Throw everything in the slow cooker after lunch and it will be ready just in time for dinner.
Slow Cooker Minestrone
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon oregano crushed
- 4 to 5 sprigs fresh rosemary stripped
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 4 cups bone broth preferably homemade
- 3 to 4 garlicky sausages sliced into rings
- 2 cups cubed carrots
- 3 to 4 shredded cabbage
- 2 cups cubed zucchini
- Heat the olive oil in a small pan.
- Add the onion, garlic and oregano. Saute until softened.
- Transfer the sauteed vegetables, with the oil, into the slow cooker.
- Add the rosemary, bay leaves, tomatoes, tomato paste and broth. Stir.
- Taste. Add salt and pepper.
- Throw in the sliced sausages, carrot cubes and shredded cabbage.
- Switch on the slow cooker to low and cook for three hours.
- Taste the broth. If too bland, add salt or pepper, or both, as needed.
- Stir in the zucchini cubes and continue cooking for another hour.
- Serve your minestrone with pasta, rice or bread.