Low Sodium Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup
In the Midwest, where I live, fall is not just the kick off of the Holiday Season, but it also the kick off of Crockpot Season! In fact, I’m not sure you are allowed to live within our state borders if you don’t own a crockpot. We are famous for snow and cold that can start as early as Halloween, so this is definitely a season for comfort foods and soup. Canned soup though can kill you with sodium. It is not surprising to see over 800 mg of sodium per serving in a can of soup. That is unacceptable! Especially when it is so easy to make soup from scratch in our trusty crockpot. Today we are talking about my hearty, low sodium slow-cooker Minestrone Soup.
A Soup To Be Shared
The word Minestrone is from the Italian word – Minestra. Minestra literally means: soup that is shared. It was often a communal soup shared when there wasn’t much else to eat. Prior to the establishment of the Roman Empire, the early Italian diet was vegetarian by necessity. The populace was too poor to have much meat, so soups were filled out with beans and farro. The farro was later made into pasta noodles. The first documented recipe of Minestrone dates back to Marcus Apicius’s ancient cookbook De Re Coquinaria in 30 AD (thanks Wikipedia).
Due to the fact that this soup really didn’t have strict rules of ingredients, you will find many variations of recipes out there. The universal factor is that this soup is formed in a bean broth. Beans were the main protein and the basis of the whole soup. In the Latin cuisine, Black Bean Soup serves the same role. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.
The soup can be made strictly vegetarian with vegetable stock, or can have meat stocks. Typically you would use what vegetables were in season. In the fall and winter, without fresh tomatoes, I would use no salt added canned. If you are using dry beans, I would soak them in the crockpot overnight to have them ready to go when you are ready to cook the soup. Many stores now will have no salt added and reduced sodium bean options.
Soup Is Good Food
In a pinch, you can find some low sodium canned options. Honestly though, versions like Campbell’s Low Sodium Chicken and Noodle soup needs a lot of additional spices to make it taste great. It is so much easier to make your own at home. Especially in a crockpot. I have several recipes to make great tasting soups at home. I have a Low Sodium Chicken Noodle, Butternut Squash Soup, Black Bean Soup, Thai Chicken and Broccoli soup, and a killer Beer Brat & Cheese Chowder.
From The Cookbook
This recipe is in my new cookbook – The Easy Low Sodium Diet Plan & Cookbook. It is available on Amazon or in Barnes and Nobles Stores. You can also ask at your local book store for them to order it.
The Recipe For Low Sodium Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup
A thick soup of Italian origin, loaded with nutritious vegetables and protein rich beans.
- 1 cup Celery diced
- 1 cup Carrot diced
- 1 cup Onion diced
- 1 cup Green Beans fresh, cut into 1" pieces
- 64 oz Vegetable Stock unsalted, or lowest sodium you can find
- 2 14.5 oz cans Tomatoes no salt added, diced
- 1 15 oz can Kidney Beans no salt added, drained, and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can Great Northern Beans no salt added, drained, and rinsed
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tbsp Basil dried
- 2 tsp Oregano dried
- 2 tsp Thyme dried
- 1/2 tsp Rosemary dried and crushed
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Black Pepper fresh ground
- 1 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Elbow Pasta dried
Add all of the ingredients except the pasta to your crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. Adjust your seasonings to taste.
10 minutes prior to serving, add the pasta and cook on high for 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Serve as soon as the pasta is ready.
If you plan on storing the soup, do it without the pasta mixed in. Otherwise the pasta absorbs the liquid and can dissolve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze in an airtight freezer container for 4 to 6 months.
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