I first made this yummy healthy slow cooker vegetarian minestrone last April, just as the temperatures were heating up here in Phoenix. It was delicious so I’m making it again now while the weather is cold and rainy.
Brimming with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients, healthy soups like this are just what my body wants as I continue to get back into balance following the holidays.
According to Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, this healthy slow cooker vegetarian minestrone soup has just 5* SmartPoints per generous 1-1/2 cup serving. Enjoy!
As soon as I saw this slow cooker vegetarian minestrone in a recent email from Taste of Home it went to the top of my list of recipes to try.
I love soup and am willing to eat it all year, but am not sure everyone else feels the same way when the temperatures begin to rise here in the desert.
So I cooked up a batch last week before it gets any hotter.
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Skinny on Healthy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Minestrone
This colorful slow cooker vegetarian minestrone soup with its rainbow of vegetables is healthy, delicious and vegetarian-friendly. You can use any multi-colored pasta in place of the rotini.
The directions say to precook the chard stems and onion in a skillet before tossing them into the slow cooker. Instead, I gave the onions a quick cook in the microwave to soften them a little, but skipped precooking the chard stems which worked fine.
The addition of pesto at the end really bumps up the flavor. So, if possible, don’t skip it. (I love the imported refrigerated pesto from Costco.)
According to my calculations, each generous serving has 231 calories and 6* Weight Watchers Points Plus.
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This recipe will work with Simply Filling too if you count the olive oil as part of your daily good health guidelines requirement, use whole wheat pasta and count the points plus (1PP) in the pesto.
When I recently ran this through the Weight Watchers recipe builder I came up with 5 SmartPoints. Enjoy!
- 4 stalks Swiss chard (about ½ pound) (I used rainbow chard)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium sweet red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini, halved and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked spiral pasta (whole wheat for Simply Filling)
- ¼ cup prepared pesto (Omit for Simply Filling)
- Ideal Slow Cooker Size; 6-Quart
- Cut stems away from the chard leaves and chop stems and leaves separately. Reserve leaves for adding later.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and chard stems. Cook, stirring often for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a the slow cooker.
- Stir in the broth, tomatoes, beans, pepper, carrot and garlic.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the pasta, zucchini and reserved chard leaves.
- Cook, covered, on LOW 20-25 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.
- Serve topped with pesto.
Source: Taste of Home
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
Originally posted 4/15; Updated with SmartPoints 1/16
More Delicious Healthy Minestrone Recipes for Weight Watchers
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