Slow Cooker Hearty Pasta and Bean Stew

For me the slow cooker is always an experiment. I put a bunch of things in, turn it on for a few hours, and I never quite know what I’m going to get. This time I tried to make my mom’s minestrone soup, but I think the macaroni I used was too big or I accidentally put too much, because the it turned out more like a hearty pasta and bean stew. So that’s what I called it!

Even though it turned out different than what I expected, it was still very delicious and delightfully warming on a cold December night. And, it was super easy to assemble in the morning before heading out for a whole day of Christmas shopping. Maybe one day I’ll figure this slow cooker thing out, but for now, I’m pretty pleased with my experiments-gone-wrong!

The recipe makes enough for two generous bowl-fuls plus leftovers for both of us to bring to work the next day. It may have even been better the second day!

3 cups vegetable stock
1 can cannellini beans
1 can diced tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, cubed
2 cups small pasta of choice
2 cups chopped spinach
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dried sage
pinch salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
nutritional yeast to serve, optional

Add vegetable stock, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, poultry seasoning, sage, salt and pepper, and bay leaves to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. In the last 30 minutes, add zucchini, spinach, and pasta, and stir. Serve with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and warm crusty bread. Enjoy!

Serves 4

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