Winter Minestrone Soup with Root Vegetables and Quinoa (Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Optional)
This Winter Minestrone Soup is packed with seasonal root vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, and kale, as well as healthy quinoa and beans. Topped with plenty of extra-virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese, it's a delicious, hearty recipe to keep you warm this winter! Stovetop, Slow Cooker, and Instant Pot friendly.
In a large pot, sauté the onion and celery in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil with a pinch of salt over medium-high heat until softened and starting to brown (about 3 minutes).
Add the garlic, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, and potatoes. Sauté for another minute, until the veggies have been coated in the oil.
Add the chicken broth (8 cups), rosemary (1 tablespoon), cheese rind (if using), and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the quinoa (3/4 cup), stir, cover, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Add the kale (2 cups), fire roasted diced tomatoes (with their juices), and drained/rinsed cannellini beans. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes, or until beans are heated through and kale is fully wilted.
Remove the cheese rind and bay leaf.
Remove from heat and stir in remaining 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper, if desired.
Make it vegetarian/vegan: be sure to use vegetable broth instead of chicken. To make it vegan, also omit the cheese rind.
Make it paleo/whole30: omit the cheese rind, beans, and quinoa. Reduce the broth to 6 cups. If you like, add cooked shredded chicken for extra protein.
Quinoa substitution: You can substitute the quinoa with another whole grain if you like. A small pasta shape, farro, barley, or rice would be delicious. Just be sure to adjust when you add it according to the cooking time for the grain.
Kale substitution: You can also substitute the kale for another quick-cooking leafy green, such as spinach.
Slow Cooker Instructions: To make this in your slow cooker, add all ingredients except for kale, tomatoes, and beans to a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. 5 minutes before serving, stir in the kale, tomatoes, and beans. Remove the cheese rind, add the remaining olive oil and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve.
Pressure Cooker Instructions: To make this in your pressure cooker/instant pot, use the sauté setting to cook the onions and celery in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except for the kale, tomatoes, and beans. Turn pressure to high on manual for 10 minutes. Wait for 10 minutes for the pressure to release naturally, then quick release until the float valve sinks in. Add the tomatoes, beans, and kale, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove cheese rind, add remaining olive oil, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve.
I made this recipe in my 6 qt. Instant pot. It should work the same in an 8 qt., but you may need to cut the ingredients in half for a 3 qt. mini.
The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.