I have a few bones to pick with the universe.

Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone I howsweeteats.com

And by the universe, I mostly mean the weather. So totally cliche, right?

Wait. Oh wait. This is bad… I mean, really bad. That I’m talking about the weather again? I feel like a complete loser, but it might just be because the only real human interaction I’ve had over the last three days has been that weird middle-aged woman reading an audio book in multiple voices that are freaking me out and my mailman who was forced to bang on my door for like 14 straight minutes because I was blasting Paula Abdul’s Rush, Rush so loudly that I couldn’t hear a thing and he obviously knew someone was home. We’ve since developed a relationship of sorts.

Can either of those be considered human interaction? Please say yes. In other words, I perfected a zillion (literally, obviously) batches of whole wheat cinnamon rolls. Which would be amazing except for the whole having to eat a zillion batches of cinnamon rolls thing.

I think I’ll sleep on the treadmill tonight.

Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone I howsweeteats.com

It’s just that right now it seems like we skipped right over Spring… went directly from winter to almost summer. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to go lie outside and toast myself like a crouton… but I’m kind of only into that if there is water around. In other words, my perfect temperature is say, 63 degrees. Maybe even a little lower. Why did we have to skip that lovely temp? I dig all the seasons and appreciate them for the time when they should be here (for, like a few months), but can this crazy climate start taking it’s meds. Can’t we just be normal for a hot sec, where it’s not 21 degrees last week and 81 inside my house yesterday?

I’m also wondering why must I find a pretty, watercolor pillow I like online at Anthropologie that costs about $500. Right next to the lamp with ugly birds on it that is also ludicrously priced. I’m pretty sure I could paint something similar to both with my eyes closed, so yeah, I may work on that today.

And why must cheese have calories? The least the universe could do is make the good stuff (like fontina) magically have LESS calories without resembling the lovely texture of plastic.

Oh and the biggest thing I’m so annoyed with right now is that lots of cute crop top type things are apparently back in style, like Kelly Kapowski type crop tops and I am most definitely too old to wear that stuff. But when they WERE in style before, I was way too young. The real question is why does the universe hate me?

Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone I howsweeteats.com

To deal with the insanity that the clouds above are tossing our way, last week I made some soup that screamed springtime when it decided to snow after the first of April. Those are not my kind of April showers, but whatever. I had recently bought three bunches of super thin asparagus (my fave) and was going to shove spring inside anything I could get my hands on.

This soup is embarrassingly easy. Throw half the junk in the crockpot, set it, come back and throw the other half in before you eat. I make a humongous (props to you, spellcheck, for recognizing such a fab word) batch, freeze half (which I never do, so you know it’s good) and keep the other half on hand for lunches or dinners. Or until I forget about it and have to throw it out three weeks later. I even did this whole makeshift pot pie thing one day too.

This is making me feel better about all the cheese.

Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone I howsweeteats.com


Springtime Crockpot Minestrone

Yield: serves about 6-8

Total Time: 6-8 hours


1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup of frozen sweet peas
1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
salt and pepper to taste


Add diced onions, garlic, carrots, the whole can of diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock and water to your crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice if you can.

About 10-15 minutes before serving, add in asparagus (I like mine with some crunch, add it earlier if you want it softer), spinach, peas and pasta. Cook on low for another 10-15 minutes then stir in grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it will depend on the sodium levels in your stock, tomatoes, etc. Serve immediately with additional cheese on top!

Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone I howsweeteats.com

…and the cinnamon rolls.

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161 Responses to “Easy Springtime Crockpot Minestrone.”

  1. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — April 11, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    Looove how colourful this looks! Yum!!


  2. #
    Lacy — April 11, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    nice linens. definitely, not napkins.


    • Jessica — April 11th, 2013 @ 9:41 am

      hahaha. definitely.


  3. #
    Gloria @ Simply Gloria — April 11, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    I love the colors in all the shots you took…especially the non food items! It goes with the pretty soup! I also love the name you put for this dish…Perfect!


  4. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — April 12, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

    Minestrone is one of my favorite soups :) this looks delicious!


  5. #
    Heather — April 12, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

    If you want to hear how an audio book should be done, look up Hank the Cowdog. I know, I know, technically it’s for the kids but he’s so good with the voices and the books are so funny I enjoy them, perhaps even a bit more than the kids do. The author himself reads them, his name is John R. Erickson, hands down the best.


  6. #
    angela @ another bite please — April 12, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    u had me at spring!


  7. #
    Brittany — April 14, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    This looks AMAZING! I wish I had found it before I went grocery shopping today. I might have to run back to the store.


  8. #
    Joey Buscarino — April 14, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

    Treadmills are a great piece of exercise equipment, not only do you get to exercise your legs, your arms also get to work out as well.Treadmills also have speed settings, so you can choose the speed that is right for you. Beginners can start with a small jog.^

    Most recent blog post straight from our very own web portal


  9. #
    Kanisha Peek — April 20, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

    Listening to audio books is practical and it meets the busy lifestyle of contemporary people. You can tune in to your favorite books anytime anywhere, while you are walking, sh… The popularity of iPod and MP3 players has raised the marketplace of audiobooks in recent years. Some book publishers also believed that audio books could outsell paperback books or e-books one day. Indeed, this pattern is clear if you think about some great benefits of audio books over paperback books. –

    My very own web page


  10. #
    Rachel @ Twin Tough — April 21, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    This soup looks so bright and fresh! Great way to eat your veggie quota for the day! :)


  11. #
    Jules — April 22, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

    This looks so pretty! One question: what size of crockpot do you use? I like to know, just in case I need to scale the recipe down to fit my mid-sized one. Thanks!


  12. #
    Kimberly — April 29, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    Made this today in a stock pot and it is delicious! I cutback on the beans and added extra asparagus and pasta. Yum! Thanks for a wonderful recipe! :)


  13. #
    Brooke — May 1, 2013 @ 12:31 am

    I thought this looked really good but it was super really good! My 7 year old has been sticking her nose up and hating everything i have made lately and she came in whining and complaining extra loud how gross it looked and how she wasn’t eating it. But I only cook one meal and that is all the kids get so she finally tasted it and she who hates everything said “hey, this is actually pretty good!” So you are awesome! Thank you so much for all your recipes! They are always my favorites!


  14. #
    Kati — May 8, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

    Das ist sowas von lecker. Probiert es aus, es lohnt sich.


  15. #
    Harper — May 17, 2013 @ 11:08 am

    Italian Secret: we always cook the pasta separate and add it per bowl. Why? Because when you make minestrone you always make more than you need and it’s a stew you can keep adding to. Add the pasta in it and that becomes slimy, see?
    Also the gluten-free-people can eat it without :)

    Also “Cook’s Treat”: save up all the hard rinds from parmesan and romano and add it to the bottom of the pot, they become edible and soooo good! ;)


    • Connie Morris — April 27th, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

      Great idea! I’m going to do this with with all crock pot pasta dishes from now on! That cheese trick is a great idea and I hate wasting cheese… fresh veggies freeze great. So take advantage of the spring and summer. any food for that matter. I have also been freezing Cherry tomatoes and bell peppers. I just put them right in the freezer, once they are start to wrinkle on the counter (we never put them in the refrigerator, they lose all their flavor) I rinse them and et air dry. Tomatoes are still in the plastic container and freeze great! So when it’s time to make soup I just throw the frozen tomatoes in. The bell peppers, I also stick them whole nto the freezer. I don’t wrap them up or anything. I’m lazy…when I need to use them I slice them still frozen and use them. Just like any frozen stir fry you buy. When in season
      Veggies are in abundance I buy too many. My Freezer is my friend. Now you can’t leave them in the freezer for more than a decade or so…lol. jk.


      • Staci — September 21st, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

        Thanks for the tip about freezing bell peppers! i never knew you could do that! I have been freezing my little tomatoes. Thanks again! :)

  16. #
    Charisse — June 27, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    You’re funny. And you think a lot like I do. And I want to make this soup. TODAY. But it will likely wait until tomorrow.


  17. #
    Erin — December 30, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

    I just finished eating a bowl of this and it was fabulous! I added some Italian meatballs so my husband would eat it. The best thing is that my 1 year old loved it too! Anything she eats that isn’t pb&j must be delicious. Quick prep before work and really quick when I got home – perfect!


  18. #
    Lois — April 30, 2014 @ 5:34 am

    I had to laugh when I read this…..THANK YOU for saying something about the clothes that are coming out! Hilarious :) I AGREE….I didn’t look good in it in the 80s and I certainly won’t look any better in it now that I’m almost 50….omg, so glad I’m not the only one that thinks this.

    By the way, definitely going to make this scrumptious recipe TODAY…thanks for that too!


  19. #
    Greg H — April 30, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

    This soup was completely flavorless. Followed the recipe to a cue and even added some spices for fear it would be bland. It required several tablespoons of siracha, along with a healthy dose of red pepper just to get it down.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the slow cooker is no place for a soup. Putting the stock and water in with the onions, carrots, and garlic prevents these ingredients from creating a base flavor for the stock to bring out, which is where this falls short.


  20. #
    jill — May 10, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    Did I miss something in the recipe? I assume one puts the pasta in right in the beginning because crunchy pasta probably not good.


  21. #
    Nancy — May 12, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    instead of the asparagus can i use fresh green beans?


  22. #
    Katie — May 13, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

    Unfortunately did not enjoy this soup AT ALL. The asparagus is overpowering and gives it a weird smell and flavor. I would recommend substituting green beans for the asparagus. It looks pretty but doesn’t live up to it’s look. I would not recommend it.


  23. #
    Greta — May 13, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

    I am reminded


  24. #
    Greta — May 13, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

    I am reminded of


  25. #
    Greta — May 13, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

    I am reminded of springtime in Poland during the Great War…


  26. #
    Natasha — May 16, 2014 @ 8:02 am

    Thanks for this great recipe! I made it last night and it was a real hit. Delicious! Really looking forward to eating the leftovers tonight ;)
    I sort of winged it a bit with the quantities and reduced the liquid (not so much water). I also added a bit of cayenne and a dash of herbes de provence.
    Oh yeah, and I added the beans in at the end with the spinach etc. Because I’m convinced that being canned and pre-cooked they would have otherwise turned to mush.


  27. #
    Jen — May 22, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

    So I just made this for dinner. I put my pasta in with 15 mins left and they’re still too al dente. What did I do wrong?!


    • Jessica — May 22nd, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

      jen did you recover the crockpot? sometimes crockpots have different temps – just cover it and they should be finished in a few more minutes!


  28. #
    Heather — September 23, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

    Haha! Your crop top comment made me laugh out loud. I’m the same way, was too young before, and bordering on the edge of too old now with a little bit of a belly even if I was to be so bold. . . *sigh* Can’t wait to try this recipe!


  29. #
    Sharon — April 3, 2015 @ 3:55 am

    my crockpot cooks on low for 8-10 hours and on high for 4-6, so as the recipe says on low for 4-6 hours, which setting would be best on my crockpot?


  30. #
    Onlyessential — April 13, 2015 @ 3:13 am

    The pictures of your recipe look very delicious, it attracts me. I like it and can’t wait to taste it…Thanks for this healthy recipe. Perfect :-)


  31. #
    E Pyer — April 15, 2015 @ 12:46 pm

    Question. On the Springtime Crockpot Minestrone recipe. Since I am only one in the household, could this be separated into one meal containers and frozen for later?


  32. #
    Kit — April 27, 2015 @ 11:01 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I checked on the carrots at 6.5 hours, and they were perfect. I panicked for .5 seconds before deciding to just make the pasta like normal on the stovetop, with the asparagus, spinach and peas. Worked out perfectly. I’d rather have one extra dirty dish than mushy carrots. I also did about 12oz of pasta instead of 8oz, just because we’re carbo loaders.

    Perfect combination of flavors. Everyone in our family is sick with a nasty cold, and this is just the soup we needed!! I’m feeling better already! Not sure if the soup is actually the reason for that, but I’ll give it the credit ;-) Thank you!!


  33. #
    Cynthia Mattera — May 6, 2015 @ 10:59 am

    OMG, that springtime stew looks amazing!!! I am making that this week!


  34. #
    Heather — May 12, 2015 @ 9:37 pm

    I made this and it was SO GOOD. I’m not a fan of vegetable stock, I think it tends to be a bit bland. I used a good quality chicken stock instead and substituted one of the cans of beans for a can of chickpeas. I thought it was super good. Only change I would make next time is cooking the pasta separately because I think the texture of it cooked in the crockpot was too gummy. I loved the addition of the asparagus- it really makes this soup stand out.


  35. #
    Ellie — May 12, 2015 @ 10:39 pm

    I couldn’t wade through the babbling to get to the recipe. Don’t give this horrible verbiage the dignity of calling it a recipe.


  36. #
    Brenda — May 18, 2015 @ 2:59 pm

    It LOOKS great, but turned out awful yesterday when I made it. I followed the directions to a “t,” but the soup was so gummy that I couldn’t finish more than a few bites. As I read the comments now (which I didn’t do before) I’m wondering if I should have cooked the pasta separately. Too late, though, as I now have an entire crock pot full of soup that nobody in my house is willing to touch! What a shame.


  37. #
    Liz McC. — May 19, 2015 @ 10:15 am

    We tried this recipe yesterday. It was excellent! Very springy indeed!

    We forgot to add the peas, but still delish and VERY FILLING! The only thing we added in addition to the recipe was Italian Seasoning. Hubby said it was missing something, and that was the “something”. Other than that…perfection!

    Thanks for a new fresh take on a crock pot soup!


  38. #
    Chelsea — July 8, 2015 @ 4:05 pm

    Hi, was wondering how long this might take to cook for 2 people instead? Any difference in the timing there due to smaller batch? Thanks!!!


  39. #
    LL — November 12, 2015 @ 5:55 pm

    What a beautiful soup. We ended up being out all night and not sitting down for dinner at home. I followed the last steps of the recipe and served a bowl to my husband who said it was his fave meal of the week. I only had a bite, but I subbed garbanzo beans for the cannelini and am thinking it wasn’t a good sub, but what I had on hand. I froze the rest of it this morning so hopefully it stays good for a future dinner!



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