This is a minestrone style soup minus the typically added rice or pasta. I have made it weekly for the last 8 weeks. It really is that good. And it is so simple! I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to share this recipe and I apologize for the less than stellar pictures. I prep all my veggies the night before so all I have to do is add everything to my crockpot in the morning. As much as I love using my crockpot I do not enjoy chopping produce in the morning. Plus who has time for this anyway? I use my large (6 quart) crockpot which makes enough for the four of us to have at least two meals. Leftovers are nothing short of amazing when it comes to feeding kids!
Each time I make this soup I change the vegetables up using whatever I have on hand and whatever is in season. Vegetable soups are versatile so use what you like. Before the cold season kicked in I added lots of fresh herbs from the garden.. parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, and/or thyme. It’s a sad day when your garden is officially over for the season.
In this particular version I used leek, garlic, carrot, sweet potato, parsnip, fennel, zucchini, parsley, dried basil, and dried oregano. I always add a few handfuls of frozen greens to the mix, and these are from the garden! This round was turnip greens. Otherwise I add a can of tomatoes and a few cups of chicken broth, homemade if I have it. I will say use a good quality can or carton of tomatoes. It makes all the difference! I find many varieties acidic and so I stick to san marzano tomatoes coming straight out of Italy. And lastly I do add animal protein as well. Typically chicken or turkey Italian sausage. I love the extra flavoring given off from the seasoning. But I have been known to use ground beef or buffalo, and even some chopped prosciutto. This is plenty filling on it’s own but sometimes I top it with avocado, pecorino romano, or fresh tomatoes. Right before the cold front moved in I picked a few dozen green tomatoes from our garden. They ripened all at once so we are enjoying them on everything!
Crockpot Vegetable Soup
- 2 leeks, whites sliced thin (or chopped onion)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 carrots, sliced into rounds
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1-2 fennel bulbs, diced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 parsnips, peeled and diced (you may want to remove the inner woody core)
- 2-3 zucchini, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1-2 cups frozen greens (turnip greens, spinach, chard, kale)
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- bay leaf
- 28oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
- 3-4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 lb turkey Italian sausage
- olive oil
- Add the prepared leek, garlic, carrots, celery, fennel, sweet potato, parsnip, and zucchini to crock pot. Lightly toss.
- Add parley, frozen greens, oregano, basil, bay leaf, and season generously with s&p. Top with tomatoes and chicken broth. I use enough broth to just cover the vegetables. If you like a brothy soup add more.
- Cook on low 8 hours.
- Two hours before the soup is done brown the Italian sausage links in olive oil over medium-low heat. This takes about 5-10 minutes, just cooking them through. If they are slightly undercooked it’s not a problem. Slice into thin rounds, add to crockpot, and gently mix it all together.
- Serve with fresh avocado, tomato, and/or pecorino romano.