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Slow Cooker Minestrone


1 cup uncooked Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
½ pound green beans, trimmed and halved
2 medium zucchini, cubed
2 cups shredded Savoy cabbage or kale
Parmesan rind (optional)
½ cup canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place the beans in the slow cooker and cover with about 3 inches of water. Add the garlic, rosemary, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook the beans on high until almost tender, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, warm the ¼ cup oil and the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion; cook until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and celery; cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes; cook for another 2 minutes. Add the green beans and zucchini; cook for 2 minutes more. Add the cabbage; cook until wilted, another 5 or so minutes.

Add the vegetables, cheese rind (if using), and tomatoes to the slow cooker; stir well and season with salt. Cover and continue to cook on high until the beans and vegetables are tender and the broth is flavorful, another 2–3 hours.
Just before serving, remove the cheese rind (if using). Swirl in the grated cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6

STOVETOP METHOD If you prefer to start with cooked beans and simmer the soup on the stovetop: After sautéeing all the vegetables as directed, add 6 cups vegetable broth, bean broth, and/or water, along with the tomatoes and cheese rind (if using). Cover the pot and simmer gently for about 2 hours. Add 2–3 cups cooked Marcella beans and simmer for another 30 minutes.


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