The king of cold-night soups, (slow cooker vegetable) minestrone is simple to make, comforting, hearty and delicious, especially when the weather is a little cooler.
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 medium brown onion (150 g), chopped finely
- 1 stalk celery (150 g), trimmed, chopped finely
- 1 medium carrot (120 g), chopped finely
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 400 g (13 ounce) canned crushed tomatoes
- 400 g (12½ ounces) canned cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
- 2 cups (500 ml) water, approximately
- 3/4 cup (100 g) dried small pasta tubes
- 150 g (4½ ounces) green beans, trimmed, cut into 3 cm (1¼-inch) lengths
- 1/2 cup (60 g) frozen green peas
- 1/4 small cabbage (300 g), shredded finely
- 1/3 cup (25 g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup loosely packed small fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Place garlic, onion, celery, carrot, stock, paste and tomatoes in a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low, for 6 hours.
Add cannellini beans and enough of the water to make a thick soup consistency. Cook, covered, on low, for 2 hours. Season to taste.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, adding green beans and peas for the last 2 mins of cooking time; drain.
Divide pasta, green beans, peas and cabbage among serving bowls; ladle soup mixture into bowls. Serve minestrone topped with Parmesan cheese and parsley.