Slow-Cooker Green Minestrone with Fennel & Parmesan

A strip of Parmesan rind in the broth gives this minestrone soup a deep, layered flavor, and fresh fennel adds a bright anise note. You don't need much pesto here—swirl in just enough to tint the broth and release its fresh-basil scent. If you avoid cheese made with rennet, look for vegetarian Parmesan cheese, which is made without it.

a recipe photo of the Slow-Cooker Green Minestrone with Fennel & Parmesan
Photo: Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Ali Ramee Prop Stylist: Christine Keely
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins


  • 8 cups unsalted vegetable broth

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 (2 inch) piece Parmesan rind, plus shaved Parmesan for serving

  • 1 small bulb fennel

  • ½ medium head Savoy or napa cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and thinly sliced

  • 2 medium zucchini, halved and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame

  • 1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed

  • 3 tablespoons pesto

  • Ground black pepper to taste

  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Combine broth, salt and Parmesan rind in a 6-quart slow cooker.

  2. Cut stalks and fronds off fennel bulb. Reserve the fronds for garnish. Reserve the stalks for another use or discard. Thinly slice the fennel bulb; add to the cooker along with cabbage, zucchini, edamame and white beans. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours.

  3. Remove and discard the Parmesan rind. Ladle about 1/3 cup of the broth into a small cup and stir in pesto. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Drizzle with the thinned pesto. Grind pepper to taste over the top. Top each bowl with 1 teaspoon oil and the reserved fennel fronds. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan, if desired.


6-quart slow cooker

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

186 Calories
10g Fat
18g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 2 cups
Calories 186
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 8g 16%
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Vitamin A 798IU 16%
Vitamin C 36mg 40%
Vitamin E 1mg 9%
Folate 109mcg 27%
Vitamin K 53mcg 44%
Sodium 758mg 33%
Calcium 121mg 9%
Iron 2mg 11%
Magnesium 63mg 15%
Potassium 440mg 9%
Zinc 1mg 9%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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