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When you think of a slow cooker, you may think of hearty braises and meat-and-bean chilis. That’s fair enough—the slow cooker is definitely great for those things. But what often gets overlooked is the fact that there are tons of slow-cooker soups out there that are packed with greens and other veggies—not to mention, packed with flavor, too. Sure, you don’t cook the greens for the entire cooking time, but they’re a great add-in to flavorful soups that have been stewing for hours, and they cook down to so little volume that even the most greens-averse people will probably be fine with it. I mean, when life gives you an opportunity to eat nutrient-packed meals without torturing your tastebuds, you take it—right?
If you’re wondering what to do with your slow cooker in warmer months, slow-cooker soups filled with greens and veggies are a great solution. The soups below range from creamy and hearty, to broth-based and super light. Best of all, soups are great freezer meals to stow away and thaw whenever you don’t feel like cooking but also don’t want to spring for takeout. Make one or two of these soups this week, then freeze leftovers in individual servings and don’t sweat weeknight dinner for months to come.
1. Sausage, Spinach and White Bean Soup
Thanks to hearts sausage and white beans, this slow-cooker soup is great any time of year.
2. Cream of Asparagus Soup
Need to use up the bounty of asparagus on your counter? Slow-cooker soup is the answer.
3. Winter Moroccan Lentil Soup
Contrary to the name, this hearty slow-cooker lentil soup is also great in the summer.
4. Tortellini Spinach Soup
Why yes, you can have your pasta and eat your soup, too.
5. Minestrone Soup
Minestrone is a classic vegetarian soup that tastes even better coming out of a slow cooker.
6. Lentil Spinach Soup
Serve this lentil spinach soup over rice, and with a healthy dollop of yogurt or sour cream.
7. Sausage Tortellini Soup
A little bit of sausage goes a long way in adding depth to this creamy slow-cooker soup recipe.
8. Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
There’s no ham in this split pea soup, but there are more than enough plant foods to make up for it.
9. Italian Meatball Soup
Up the greens factor of this slow-cooker meatball soup by throwing in a handful of fresh spinach during the last few minutes.
10. Weeknight Lentil Soup
Use whatever greens and root veggies you have on-hand for this easy lentil soup.
11. Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This broccoli cheddar soup is less heavy than traditional versions, but doesn’t skimp on flavor.
12. Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
In warmer weather, trade classic chicken soup for this zesty, greens-filled version.
13. Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
This doesn’t come with unlimited salad and breadsticks, but it’s a great summer soup nonetheless.
14. Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens
Take a trip down south with these soupy slow-cooker black-eyed peas and collards.
15. Vietnamese Mustard Green Soup
Pho real, this soup is delicious.
16. Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
This version of split pea soup isn’t vegetarian, so if you like ham, go for it, baby.
17. Lentil Soup with Kale
This lentil soup is an easy way to try kale if you’re still unsure about it.