Most of the time when I go to Olive Garden I order the Soup Salad Breadstick deal and go through about 3 or so bowls of their Minestrone. It is my favorite. About a year or so ago I decided to try my hand at making the soup at home, and after I saw just how easy it was and how incredibly delicious it is, I’ve made a huge batch of it at least every other week. I found a few recipes online that I liked, and then I tweaked them a bit to come up with my favorite version:
This recipe makes about 8 servings, though I often double mine since we often go back for second helpings and I love taking a bowl with me to work the next day.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 can green beans
- 1⁄2 cup diced celery
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup small shell pasta
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- 1 can white (or cannelini) beans
- 1 halved and chopped zucchini
- 1 can diced tomatoes (I love the seasoned type)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional, spinach
- lots of Parmesan cheese for topping
Heat the olive oil in a large pot (extra large if you choose to double) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and saute until it starts to turn a light brown (this should only take about 30 seconds, be very careful to watch it as the garlic will burn quickly). Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften. Stir in the green beans, kidney beans, white beans and all of the seasonings then let that saute for about 3 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes, zucchini and the veggie broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Once you’ve achieved a rolling boil add the shell pasta. Reduce the heat slightly and let cook until the pasta is tender. If you choose to, add a handful of spinach to cook for about a minute before you serve the soup. Ladle into bowls and top with lots of Parmesan cheese.
Honestly this is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. As long as you have the veggies chopped and prepared beforehand, it’s super easy to just toss them in when the timing’s right. Then you just let them all boil together and you’re done!
Give this soup a try tonight and you may never need to head to a restaurant for Minestrone again!
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