Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 7 to 8 hours on low
Slow cooking this crowd-pleasing soup allows the flavors to
intensify and develop for a meal the whole family is sure to enjoy.
This hearty and tasty version with a thick rich tomato sauce uses
barley in place of elbow pasta to take advantage of barley’s
cholesterol-lowering properties. Serve with a green salad and
crusty whole-grain bread.
Serves 6 to 8
6 cups Savory Vegetable Broth (here) or low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 large onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, diced
1½ cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
½ cup hulled barley
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover
and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
2. Serve warm.
Per Serving (2 cups): Calories: 254; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Trans
Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg;
Sodium: 188mg; Carbohydrates: 52g; Fiber: 13g; Sugars: 11g; Protein: 12g
VARIATION TIP: If you prefer a more traditional minestrone and have
time to tend to the slow cooker toward the end of cooking, skip the barley
and add in 1 cup of your preferred pasta 30 to 40 minutes before the soup
is done and cook until the pasta is tender. The pasta will need to be stirred
occasionally while it cooks to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the