Blizzards, winter storms, gale warnings…February has given us a wallop of winter weather and with that a whole lot of soup. Unlike a summer minestrone that is made with a variety of garden vegetables including juicy, red tomatoes, our winter minestrone uses canned tomatoes and adds potatoes instead of pasta—not only to keep it gluten-free, but to make it a bit heartier as well. This Italian favorite does require a bit of ingredient prep (really just chopping) but it is well worth the effort. If you have leftovers, they freeze and reheat fantastically.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, finely chopped
- generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 6 cups gluten-free vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 (15-oz) can of great northern or cannellini white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 head escarole, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Grated Parmesan cheese and extra-virgin olive oil for garnish (optional)
- Add the first 15 ingredients (olive oil through beans) to the slow cooker crock—do not stir. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Add the escarole, zucchini and parsley. Stir well and cover. Cook another 30 minutes or until zucchini is tender and escarole is cooked.
- Taste and adjust seasonings; add more salt and black pepper if needed.
- Garnish each bowl with Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil before serving, if desired.