Three Bean Minestrone

This is a great hearty meal, and I hope your family will enjoy it!

Ingredients:

– 3 Tablespoons olive oil
– 1 Spanish (sweet) onion, chopped
– 3 medium carrots, chopped
– 3 stalks celery, chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1 large zucchini, diced
– 10 oz frozen spinach
– 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
– 4 cups water
– 1 – 15oz can low sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 – 15oz can low sodium white beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 – 15oz can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1 – 15oz can diced tomato, with juice
– 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
– Pepper to taste
– 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
– 4 oz small whole wheat pasta (orzo, macaroni, mini shells, etc)

Directions:

Turn slow cooker to high, heat with oil, and “sauté” the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic for 30-60 minutes (optional, for those who like onions a little more tender).  Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the pasta and cheese, and cook on low for 8 hours (or 4 on high).  One hour before serving, add the orzo and Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

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