Friday, October 7, 2011

'Olive Garden' Minestrone Soup

This is my favourite soup recipe, and it's vegan too, although I think by coincidence not by design. It's perfect for lunches or for dinner on cold nights or to cure a cold. As a veggie, it's my go-to rather than the traditional chicken noodle. It's also packed with vegetables and tons of protein.

The recipe I'm including is for 8 servings and can be cooked on the stove top. I always double the recipe and cook it in my giant crock pot. It stores very well, although better if the noodles are cooked and incorporated separately (otherwise once reserved or frozen in portions the soup will because overly starchy).

'Olive Garden Minestrone Soup:


2 tbsps Olive Oil

1/2 cup (White) Onion, minced

1/4 cup Zucchini, chopped

1/4 cup Frozen Cut Italian Green Beans (I used fresh)

1/4 cup Celery, minced (about 1/2 stalk)

2 tsps Garlic, minced (about 2 cloves)

4 cups Vegetable Stock (I use Knorr powder, but any kind will do)

1 (15 ounce) can Red Kidney Beans, drained

1 (15 ounce) can Small White Beans or Great Northern Beans, drained

1/2 (14 ounce) can Diced Tomatoes

1/2 cup Carrots. julienned or shredded

2 tbsps Fresh Parsley, minced

1 tsp Dried Oregano

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper

1/2 tsp Dried Basil

1/4 tsp Dried Thyme

1 1/2 cups Hot Water

3 cups Fresh Baby Spinach

1/3 cup small shell pasta


  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Sauté onion, celery, garlic, green beans and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.
  3. Add vegetable stock, drained tomatoes, beans, carrots, hot water and spices.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 2o minutes or until it reaches desired consistency.
*If you are cooking it in a crockpot it'll cook over a lower heat but for multiple hours. I added all the ingredients together and then raised it to a simmer and let it cook like that for 5 or 6 hours, stirring only occasionally. You really don't need to babysit it too much.

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