This soup is a brothy celebration of all things vegetable, with a bright pesto-like basil topping. Tweak the soup recipe to use whatever you have in the crisper drawer. Remember that minestrone, like many soups, tastes better the next day, heated up and served with good crusty bread and some cheese on the side.
To make in a slow cooker: Soak the beans overnight. Cook the onions in about 2 Tbs. of oil over medium heat, stirring frequently until translucent. Drain the beans, and add to the pot with the onions. Add the celery, carrot, and stock. Secure the lid (if working in a multicooker, open the pressure-release valve, and select slow cook). Cook on the highest setting until the beans are just tender, about 3 hours. Remove the lid carefully so that as it opens, the steam escapes away from you. Stir in the tomatoes, zucchini, fennel seeds, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Secure the lid. Cook on the highest setting until the beans are tender, about 1 hour more. Remove the lid carefully so that as it opens, the steam escapes away from you. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with the pistou.
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I made this in a the slow cookers. The fennel and tomatoes paired beautifully. The pistou made with pistachios was outstanding. This is the best minestrone I have ever tasted. I'd give it 10 stars.
Yum! This was so good and very easy-- especially since I didn't bother making the pistou and just used Costco prepared pesto. The skins on my beans were a bit tough, but I blame the beans, not the recipe. Might try other beans next time.
Really good and quick. I happened to have some home made stock, and I made it on the stove with canned beans. Pesto was delicious on top.
This is delicious and the butter beans are an amazing addition.
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