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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: 6-1/2 hours YIELD:10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium leek (white portion only), thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces sliced pancetta or 2 bacon strips, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh kale
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Directions

  • 1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute onion, leek and pancetta until onion is tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in all remaining ingredients except beans.
  • 2. Cook, covered, on low until vegetables are tender, 6-8 hours.
  • 3. Stir in beans. Cook, covered, on low until heated through, about 30 minutes. Yield: 10 servings (3-3/4 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups: 161 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 771mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 7g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable.

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