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Colorful Minestrone Recipe

Butternut squash, a leek and fresh kale make my minestrone different from most others. Not only do ingredients like this help keep the fat grams down, but they create a lovely blend of flavors.—Tiffany Anderson-Taylor, Gulfport, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 7-1/2 hours YIELD:10 servings


  • 1 medium leek (white portion only), thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices deli ham, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh kale
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


  • 1. In a small skillet, saute leek and onion in oil for 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add ham and garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • 2. Transfer ham mixture to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the water, vegetables, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  • 3. Stir in beans; cover and cook 30 minutes longer. Yield: 10 servings (3-1/2 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cup: 134 calories, 2g fat (0 saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 477mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 7g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 starch.

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