This nourishing Slow Cooker Autumn Minestrone Soup is a satisfying twist on a classic. Perfectly satisfying for lunch or dinner, it freezes well and is naturally vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free.
1large butternut squashchopped into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
1medium yellow onionfinely chopped
1 15-ozcan chickpeas
1 15-ozGreat Northern or other white beans
1 15-ozcan diced tomatoes
1 32-ozbox vegetable stockchicken stock will also work
1bunch swiss chard or 1 4-oz box baby spinach
Freshly grated parmesan cheeseoptional
Place the butternut squash, onion, garlic, chickpeas, white beans, tomatoes, stock, salt, and Italian seasoning in a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours or until the soup is bubbling and the squash is cooked through.
Carefully ladle 4 cups of the soup (broth, veggies, and beans) into a blender and blend until smooth. Add the blended mixture back to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to blend the soup for just a few seconds (you want a creamy consistency, but with plenty of beans and veggies left unblended).
Add the swiss chard or spinach to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Ladle the hot soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (if using).