Summer Vegetable and Chicken Quinoa Minestrone

The freshness and comfort of this slow cooker soup are simply outstanding. Plumb full of tomatoes, celery, and zucchini, it’s the true essence of summer flavor. Traditional minestrone soup includes pasta noodles, but I used quinoa to make this soup naturally gluten-free and give it a whole-grain boost.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • One 15-ounce jar roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 32-ounce carton vegetable broth
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (heaping) cups chopped fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Add all ingredients on the ingredient list up to chicken to your slow cooker. Stir to combine, then add in chicken breasts. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken breasts and shred with a fork, then add back to slow cooker

Stir in beans and spinach. Cook for 5 more minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar and taste; adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Tip: Use chopped frozen carrots and onions to save time.