Prep 20 mins
Cook 8 hrs
Parmesan cheese rind adds incredible flavour to minestrone. Can garnish soup with pesto and/or parmesan cheese crisps
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 celery, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 3 garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 5 1⁄2 ounces tomato paste
- 1 lb smoked ham hock
- parmesan cheese, rind (optional)
- 8 cups water
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubes
- 1 cup dry pasta
- 1 cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 small zucchini
- 2 1⁄2 cups Italian bread, cubed and trimed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper, coarsely cracked
- Crostini: In bowl, toss together bread, oil and pepper; spread on rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 400 oven, tossing once until golden and crisp, 6 - 8 minutes. (Can make ahead).
- Cook pasta before adding to soup.
- Soup: Saute onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper for about 5 - 8 minutes or until cooked. Scrape into slow cooker.
- Stir in tomato paste, ham hock, parmesan rind, potato, red and white beans and water. Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or until ham can be pulled off bone easily. Discard bay leaves and Paremesan rind.
- Increase heat to high. Stir in red pepper and zucchini; cook, covered for 20 minutes.
- Stir in cooked pasta.