Slow Cooker Hamburger Minestrone
This Slow Cooker Hamburger Minestrone is loaded with fresh vegetables, ground beef, and pasta. A hearty soup that is a meal in itself. Slice up a loaf of crusty bread, pour a glass of wine, and dinner is served!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup peeled and chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 28 ounces crushed Italian style tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dry basil
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 15 ounces cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 ounces kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup ditalini pasta uncooked
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring to break up. Season with salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink. Drain off as much of the grease as possible and transfer the cooked beef to the slow cooker. Add the onion, carrot, zucchini, celery, garlic, beef broth, crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf to the slow cooker with the beef. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW 5 to 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
After initial cooking time, add beans, ditalini pasta (uncooked), and Parmesan. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until pasta is al-dente.
To add even more nutrition, throw in a big handful of raw baby spinach at the end of the cooking time and stir to blend well. Allow to lightly wilt for just a couple of minutes and serve.
This soup freezes very well. Place leftovers in freezer safe containers for a great make-ahead meal.
Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 651mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g