Slow Cooker Tortellini Minestrone Soup


1 large white onion (or 2 small onions), diced

2 large carrots , diced

1 large celery stalk , diced

1 1/2 cups fresh green beans , cut into three pieces

2 cups diced pumpkin or butternut squash (optional – swap for potatoes if desired)

6 cloves garlic , chopped OR minced

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 cans (14.5 oz) diced or crushed fire roasted tomatoes

6 cups vegetable broth (or stock)

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Italian dried herbs

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder (or stock powder)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon sugar (optional — offsets the acidity from the tomatoes)

2 bay leaves

1 parmesan rind

2 large zucchini , diced

1 can (15 oz | 425 grams) white navy beans (Cannellini beans), drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz | 425 grams) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 x packet (340 gram | 12 ounce) three cheese tortellini (I use dried not fresh, but you can use fresh or refrigerated if desired)

2 cups loosely packed baby spinach

Finely shredded Parmesan cheese , for serving (or Romano)




To a 6qt (or litre) slow cooker bowl, add the onions, carrots, celery, green beans, butternut squash (or potatoes), garlic, tomato paste, tomatoes, broth (or stock), salt, pepper, Italian herbs, basil, parsley, stock powder, parsley, sugar (if using), and mix well to combine. Add in the bay leaves, cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.


Once cooked, add in the parmesan rind*, zucchini, white beans, red beans, and tortellini. Cook on high heat for an additional 25-30 minutes (for dried tortellini) or 10-15 minutes (for fresh tortellini) until pasta is tender and cooked through. Stir in the spinach, cover and allow to wilt in the heat for an additional 5 minutes. Add in 1-2 cups of extra water (or broth) if the soup is too thick for your liking.


Serve warm topped with parmesan (or Romano) cheese.


Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery; sauté until onion is transparent. Add in the green beans and garlic, and cook until the garlic is fragrant (a further 30 seconds). Pour in the broth (stock), tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the dried herbs and parsley, bay leaves, stock powder, sugar, parmesan rind, and season with salt and pepper to your tastes. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and reduce heat to low-medium. Gently simmer while stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add in the canned beans, zucchini and tortellini. Cover again and simmer for a further 25 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Add the spinach and allow to wilt through the heat of the pot.


Serve warm topped with parmesan (or Romano) cheese.





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