This is by far the best recipe you'll ever try for Minestrone soup – a classic, hearty Italian soup with tomatoes, white beans, vegetables and pasta. You can use Swiss chard or baby kale instead of spinach if you wish and you can omit the pasta if you don't want the carbs – honestly you won't miss it with everything else in this soup.
It's just my preference, but I like to puree the beans in this soup, it thickens it and you don't even know they are in there (great for picky eaters). What makes this soup extra special, is using the rind from a wedge of parmesan or Romano cheese. I always stash them in my freezer just for soups, if you don't have one toss some grated cheese into the soup while it's cooking.
This is an old recipe I've been making for a very long time! Originally I shared this as a slow cooker recipe in 2009, which is super convenient when you are working all day and want to come home to a cooked meal. But I also love making this on the stove, so I've updated the directions for both crock pot AND stove top.
This is also great with mini turkey meatballs, or even some sauteed crumbled turkey sausage. To keep the pasta al dente, I cook the pasta separate and add it to each bowl when I serve it, rather than throwing it in the soup which winds up soaking up all the broth.
Hope you enjoy!