Tuscan Minestrone

1/2 c. dried white beans, soaked overnight
1/2 c. chopped leeks
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 c. coarsely chopped carrots
2 sprigs parsley
1/2 c. coarsely chopped celery
1 bay leaf
2 c. coarsely chopped zucchini
3 c. water
1 1/2 c. chopped escarole or Swiss chard
1 1/2 c. green beans, cut in 1” pieces
1 c. shredded cabbage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 Tbsp. fresh or 1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 c. canned Italian tomatoes, undrained, chopped
1 c. whole wheat elbows, shells or ditalini

For garnish: 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, fresh parsley or 1/2 tsp. minced garlic. Drain beans and discard soaking water. Place beans, onions, leeks, carrots, celery, zucchini, Swiss chard, green beans, cabbage, garlic, dried herbs (if using dried), pepper, tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf and water in four-quart slow cooker. Cover and simmer on low for eight – 10 hours or until vegetables are tender. If using fresh herbs add during last two hours of cooking time. Remove and discard parsley sprigs and bay leaf. Garnish if desired. Makes 10 servings.

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