I love minestrone soup. I’ve made it at home a few times, but I’ve never really loved the results. Finally, success! This soup was amazing, and I’m really quite sad it’s all gone. I think the essential things that made it so delicious were using fresh homemade stock, adding a little spice, and lots of fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Spicy Minestrone Soup

3 cups vegetable stock
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (I put mine through the food processor because I’m not crazy about huge tomato chunks)
1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
A teaspoon or so each of fresh thyme, rosemary, and/or sage
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (adjust to your own taste)
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked pasta in a small shape
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Basil sprigs, garnish, optional

In a slow cooker, combine stock, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, herbs, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add cooked pasta, zucchini and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt, black pepper, and more crushed red pepper if you like spicy. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle parmesan cheese over top, and garnish with basil if you’d like.