Slow Cooker Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto (Panera Copycat)
If your house is full of meat-lovers, I recommend adding a pound of ground meat to the soup. Cooked meatballs would also be great.
Yields: 6 servings
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5oz each), undrained
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1/2lb fresh green beans, ends cut off and chopped (or frozen)
- 2.5oz fresh baby spinach (about 3 big handfuls)
- 2 cups diced or minced cauliflower
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced (1 cup)
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 Tbls. tomato paste
- 1/2 brown rice (not quick cooking)
- 4 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasonings
- 4 cups vegetable broth *not needed until day of cooking
- 6 tablespoons basil pesto (store-bought or homemade) *not needed until day of cooking
- Add all ingredients to your crockpot (except pesto).
- Cook on “low” setting for 8 hours or until vegetables are soft.
- Spoon into bowls and top with pesto.
To Freeze and Cook Later
- Label a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag with the name of the recipe, use-by date (3 months from the prep date), and cooking instructions.
- To your freezer bag, add all ingredients except broth and pesto.
- Remove as much air as possible, seal, and freeze for up to three months.
- When ready to eat, thaw overnight in refrigerator or in morning in water.
- Add to slow cooker with broth and cook for 8 hours on “low.”
- Spoon into bowls with pesto and serve with crusty bread