Slow Cooker Italian Pasta & Bean Soup

There's been a heat advisory in effect for our city for what feels like a month now, but I think it's only been a few days. When you walk outside your face feels like it's melting slowly, your body instantly starts to perspire, your cheeks turn red. Ah... summer in Texas... Gotta love it, gotta hate it. 

I bet you're surprised that I decided to made a soup during one of the hottest months of the year. And, no, it's not a cold soup like Gazpacho. This is a regular ol' warm soup.

The great thing about this soup is that it's pretty light. The ingredients are "summer" ingredients and the broth is thinner. Overall, the soup is still filling. 


  • 1 (14 oz) can of Cannellini beans or Great Northern beans
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped (I personally don't like celery, so I omitted this ingredient.)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3/4 cup of elbow pasta, or other small pasta shapes
  • 1 zucchini, chopped or diced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup of Pesto
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp of basil leaves


1. In a large frying pan over medium- high heat, warm the oil. Then, add onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened and browning, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook for an additional 1 minute.

2. Pour 1 cup of the stock in the pan to dislodge any bits on the bottom. Transfer the contents to the slow cooker and stir in the drained beans, remaining 4 cups of stock, and tomatoes. Cover and cook on low setting for about 5 1/2 to 6 hours. 

3. Stir in the pasta, zucchini, 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper, re-cover, and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes. The beans should be very tender and the pasta al dente.

4. Use the back of a spoon to mash some of the beans against the side of the slow cooker to thicken the soup, then mix well. 

5. Scoop soup into bowl and top with a spoonful of pesto, basil and Parmesan cheese.

My camera focused in on the salad, which I didn't realize until after I had devoured my soup, but you get the picture...

My camera focused in on the salad, which I didn't realize until after I had devoured my soup, but you get the picture...

This soup made a ton for two people, and is perfect for leftovers! In fact, J took some to work today in his nifty little container. 

Of course, I kept the big one and he got the small one. :P