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. #
    Amanda @ Food, Fitness, Faith — April 10, 2013 @ 7:10 am

    I agree with being disgruntled about the weather and the cheese thing (low-fat/reduced fat cheese? Umm. No.) I’ve gotta pass on the crop top issue though. No one wants to see that! But I do want to see this soup in my kitchen!


  2. #
    ashley - baker by nature — April 10, 2013 @ 7:15 am

    Spring time soup?! Heck yes.


  3. #
    Katie — April 10, 2013 @ 7:21 am

    yum! This looks fantastic! I can’t believe the crazy weather half of our country is experiencing right now… stay warm!


  4. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — April 10, 2013 @ 7:22 am

    I am loving it! Great recipe! and so healthy too!!


  5. #
    Mandie @ Oh So Decadent — April 10, 2013 @ 7:26 am

    Unfortunately it’s so hot outside that I might die if I made this today, but on the bright side, it looks like it will be back in the 60’s next week! Which means I can totally justify making this soup! Love the combination of spring time veggies.


  6. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 10, 2013 @ 7:29 am

    Oh I’d give ANYTHING for nice weather right now! Here it’s cold, rainy, and there’s a chance (as in it’s pretty much guaranteed to happen) of snow tomorrow. Although I thought I was ready for all sorts of spring/summery dishes, soup sounds perfect right now! Oh and about those crop tops – GAH! That is NOT good news for my ridiculously long torso. Can’t say I’ll be hopping on that bandwagon!


  7. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 10, 2013 @ 7:36 am

    That’s the prettiest interior of a crockpot picture I’ve ever seen! Normally they look all mushy and brown with chili or something…yours is so bright, vibrant, and alive. Love this one!


  8. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — April 10, 2013 @ 7:40 am

    I swear I could of written your rant about the weather. I live in southern hemisphere, so I am going through the exact opposite to you. I think Australia has skipped autumn and go straight to winter! I had to pull out the winter warmers early. Then again the weather has been a twisty with a forecast for summer like weather this weekend. I love the spring veg in this soup and with such cute pasta too!


  9. #
    Tieghan — April 10, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    I have to admit, your an interesting women! I mean 60’s is just to cold for my liking. I am so one of those people who want’s it HOT, but I never get it because I live in teh freezing mountains of CO and it is still snowing. Plus, the temps never go above 60’s in the summer. Anyway, the thin asparagus is my favorite also! This soup looks delicious!


  10. #
    DessertForTwo — April 10, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    Uhhhh yum! I’m a sucker for any kind of brothy soup.

    You’re definitely allowed to talk about the weather without feeling lame because that’s all the farmers are talking about ’round here. It has been in the 70s for a few days here and there for the last few weeks, and THEN chance of snow today. So, you’re hip. You could pull up into the co-op (where farmers buy fertilizers, etc.) and chit chat about the weather like a pro. That sounded way cooler in my head…


  11. #
    Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection — April 10, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    The weather gods are seriously screwed up. We need at least a few weeks of spring! But I guess I won’t complain since I much prefer warm weather over snow and freezing temperatures. Good thing we have this recipe to help us pretend like it’s actually spring outside!


  12. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — April 10, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    I always think how soup is more of a fall/winter dish but really it’s year round because there is always a need and desire to eat something like this!


  13. #
    Alissa — April 10, 2013 @ 8:28 am

    I am with you on the weather! I have been listening to podcast and they are making my day! I understand about the audio books too, I need to pick up more but I am always worried that the person reading it will freak me out too. I can’t wait to try this recipe next week, thank you for the help with meal planning!!


  14. #
    Jenna — April 10, 2013 @ 8:40 am

    This looks fantastic. I love a good spring soup and the fact that its done in the crockpot is even more appealing!! :)


  15. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — April 10, 2013 @ 8:44 am

    Oh em gee that ASPARAGUS in the minestrone is GENIUS, making me flip! good idea!


  16. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — April 10, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    This weather is making me very, very sad. Winter storm Walda? Makes me think of “Where’s Waldo”.

    The snow and sleet were ridiculous commuting this morning. I almost didn’t think I would have enough traction to make turns at intersections and NO plows were out. I couldn’t figure out why because the ruts are so deep the slush was accumulating on my car hood. Eeek! I think they didn’t have the plows out because they *assumed* it was just slush and water. Well, it isn’t.

    Enough about the unfortunate weather (cry) – your minestrone looks wonderful and perfect for the last (hopefully) rotten snow days of Spring!


  17. #
    Carly — April 10, 2013 @ 9:08 am

    1. I was googling crockpot minestrone receipes this weekend because I’m making it for dinner tomorrow. I’m tossing my recipe, as this looks delish!
    2. I made your mini meatballs for my family and banana bread scones for my coworkers this week and both were a huge hit. Thanks!


    • Carly — April 10th, 2013 @ 9:09 am

      PS. The reason I was googling soup recipes this weekend is because here in Winnipeg, Canada, it still freakin’ cold. It was -27C (-17F) with the windchill on Monday morning.


  18. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — April 10, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    You are never too old for crop tops!!! Or full fat cheese, or Minestrone, or complaining abt the weather :)


  19. #
    Erin @ Axell's Kitchen — April 10, 2013 @ 9:27 am

    This looks perfect!! And the pictures are gorgeous!


  20. #
    Ashley — April 10, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    Umm, this post cracked me up today! From sleeping on the treadmill, (that works, right? like osmosis? like when you would put a book under your pillow for a test the next day??) to the mailman friendship, to the $500 pillow (seriously, WTF), to the crop tops + ALL THE CHEESE! And not to forget this soup…which looks fantastic and EASY. xo


  21. #
    Ashley — April 10, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    p.s. it was 70 all last weekend and dropped to 20 yesterday with snow…


  22. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — April 10, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    Before I get to the soup (which looks incredibly fresh and beautiful), I have to complain a bit about my weather too. It is 90 degrees and I am sweating already at 9:30 in the morning–mostly because my stupid apartment continues to torture us by not letting us have A/C yet. Cruel! And 63 degrees is my happy temp too :) Anything where you can be comfy in jeans and a t-shirt is heaven to me.

    Saw your pics of cinnamon rolls on Instagram, they looked great! I need to find a nice neighbor so that I can make all sorts of fun baked goods for, b/c lets face it, I have no self control and I would inhale them all! :)


  23. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — April 10, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    I am so with you on the 63 degrees thing! We skipped right over it, too! at 6:15 this morning it was 73!!!!!!!! I’m NOT ready for summer!!!

    Soup in a crockpot. Genius.


  24. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — April 10, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    This looks crazy good. I am definitely a believer in using my crock pot year round and not just during the colder months.


  25. #
    Carly @ Snack Therapy — April 10, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    Vegetables cancel out the calories of everything in their general vicinity. It’s a thing.


  26. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — April 10, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    I know. I know I know I know. About what? You’ll never know.

    Just kidding. The weather. But we’re chilly again, so I’m peeved.

    Why am I not practicing my backstroke in that crock pot?


  27. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — April 10, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    This bowl seriously screams spring! I love it! OH and it is cold and in the 40s here in TX right now… so could you bring me a bowl of this pretty please?


  28. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — April 10, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    this is the perfect spring soup – and everything is better topped with some cheese!


  29. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — April 10, 2013 @ 11:07 am

    Yeah this weather is absurd! Yesterday sunny and a high of 80 degrees (some parts of Texas actually reached 107 degrees yesterday, eeekkkk!) and today rainy and only a high of 42 degrees! So soup, especially a spring time soup is perfect!


  30. #
    Casey — April 10, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    I am also made about the weather, its way too hot for April and it scares me for summer. I would love a nice 63 degree day. That sounds perfect!


  31. #
    Amanda — April 10, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    The weather here has been so great the last few days, I can really feel summer coming. Of course, that means we’ll probably be freezing next week again if Mother Nature keeps playing these dirty tricks on us!

    The soup looks wonderful, and the photos are so vibrant!


  32. #
    Erin W — April 10, 2013 @ 11:29 am

    This looks perfect for today’s weather! Do you have any suggestions how to do this without a crockpot?


    • Jessica — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

      you can definitely do it without! I would simmer the first half of the ingredients for 30 minutes or so and then add the rest, simmer for 15-20?


  33. #
    Julia Jolliff — April 10, 2013 @ 11:32 am

    I love minestrone! This soup looks beautiful and very springy.It has been rainy in Chicago so a bowl of this would be perfect.


  34. #
    Tasia — April 10, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    UGH cheese calorie thing. I love cheese. i even went to Penn Mac and got the humboldt fog kind you talk about, yum. So I agree – it shouldn’t have calories.

    PGH Weather – um it’s like 80 today and I’m running the Pirates 5k on Saturday – it’s gonna be 38 during the time of the race. what?! .

    HOW do you stay thin while making all of these yummy recipes? You’ve got to work out like 8 hours a day – biggest loser style. I’m jealous.


    • Tasia — April 10th, 2013 @ 11:54 am

      Oh and PS – where did you get those napkins? I need them for my cinco de mayo party. perfect.


      • Jessica — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

        crate and barrel!

  35. #
    Alli — April 10, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

    This looks fantastic!! The weather here in Portland, OR, has taken a turn for the chilly and rainy – pretty normal for April, though. This soup would be perfect this weekend! Do you think it would be good if you stirred in some pesto right before serving?


    • Jessica — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:28 pm



  36. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 10, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    On a cold day in Austin like today, this would SO hit the spot! Thanks for sharing!


  37. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — April 10, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

    What a great way to get your veggies in! I too am not a fan of veggies.


  38. #
    Larry — April 10, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

    OMG how amazing would this be with some deliciously thick and crusty garlic bread with bubbly cheese on top?! Ugh, I just made my stomach nosh on itself.


  39. #
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat — April 10, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

    I love soup and I love the slow cooker, so this is a perfect match for me!! :)


  40. #
    Whitney — April 10, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    I would take your sunny hot weather any day- they just said snow flurries on the radio. I am so over winter, but with weather like that it totally justifies this soup and not wearing cropped shirts. (Although my stomach would justify it without the weather’s help.)


  41. #
    Marcie @ Flavor the Moments — April 10, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

    This looks utterly delicious and fresh. I don’t care if it’s hot out, I can eat soup any time (especially if the A/C is blasting indoors)!


  42. #
    Kathleen — April 10, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

    This looks fantastic!! If I wanted to freeze half of it, should I omit the spinach from the frozen portion and add it in later? Or will it be okay to freeze as is? Any suggestions?


    • Jessica — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

      it’s fine to freeze as is! at least for me. :)


  43. #
    Kayla — April 10, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    This soup looks delicious, but I’m not a fan of beans. Any ideas for what I could sub in for the beans? Or would it work if I just left them out?


    • Jessica — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

      i think your best bet is to leave them out – maybe add a little additional pasta, if not, you might want to decrease the stock or water amount a bit!


  44. #
    Mr. & Mrs. P — April 10, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

    We love slower cooker meals!! Will try this soon

    Mr. & Mrs. P


  45. #
    Joy — April 10, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

    Dear Jessica.

    I discovered your site today with thanks to Cupcakes and Cashmere.

    I’d just like to say I feel as I have discovered a food revelation. I feel like I should start running 40kms a day, just so I can justify eating ALL of the delicious food on here.

    I think I’m going to go and have a cookie.



  46. #
    Ashley — April 10, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

    Jessica, does this have to be made in a crockpot? Anyway I could make this in a big pot on the stove? I only have a dinky crockpot that would feed one, and I like to cook once and store it for the week. :)


    • Jessica — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

      yes, you can definitely make it in a large stock pot!


  47. #
    JulieD — April 10, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

    I love crockpot meals…and I love this bc it so reminds me of spring!


  48. #
    Danielle — April 10, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

    Yay! I love anything that invoives a crockpot! So easy! This soup looks delicious and definitly reminds me of Spring – even if the universe is a little bit confused!

    By the way, your story of the mail man and Rush Rush made me laugh. I had a similar experience last month except it involved an oil guy and New Kids on the Block. Oh, it was not a good day! : )



  49. #
    Laurie {SimplyScratch} — April 10, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

    Amen sister! Seriously… why o why does cheese have to have calories? Cheese AND beer… I mean c’mon! Can we just pretend?


  50. #
    Becky — April 11, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    Looks so delicious! If cheese melts into a soup, it loses all of its calories, right???



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