First, this post is dedicated to Cryptozoologist Zachary Bass Caby who recently revealed to me that he thought minestrone was prounounced phonetically. I laughed loudly, called him an idiot, then corrected him.
This soup is currently in my crock pot, an appliance I use seldomly apart from a massive batch of cheese dip or some barbecued pulled pork. It's been on high for about 45 minutes and already smells fabulous. Here is the recipe from Robin Miller of Food Network, and my alterations are in italics.
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth - I used 32 oz. organic chicken broth
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes - I added another 15 oz. since I added extra broth & like soupy soup :)
1 (15-oz) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained - and rinsed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 c. onion, chopped
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried sage - I didn't have these two alone, so I used some poultry seasoning that had both
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
2 c. cooked ditalini pasta - I used whole wheat elbows
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2. c. coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach, defrosted
4 T. grated parmesan or Romano cheese
Basil sprigs, garnish, optional - I opted out
In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves and 1/2 t. each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. 30 minutes before soup is done, add pasta, spinach and zucchini. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves, season to tase with salt and black pepper. Serve soup in bowls garnished with parmesan cheese and basil leaves.