Minestrone soup, An Italian soup that is a meal in itself. The soup is packed with vegetables, beans and pasta.
This recipe is a replica of Olive Garden’s version of Minestrone Soup.
We tasted this soup for first time in Olive garden (OG) while driving from Austin to Atlanta with a huge cargo trailer attached to our vehicle. Why we chose OG.. it had a big parking lot and later we knew it had wonderful food too. If you haven’t been to Olive garden before, Do try. A fine restaurant, a great place to try Minestrone soup for the first time and a perfect option for vegetarians as they cook their Minestrone soup with veg stock and not chicken stock. We totally fell in love and we are glad they offer unlimited servings of the soup. (Neither did OG pay me to say this nor they offered us a free dinner!)
It didn’t strike I could look for a similar recipe online, instead was thinking about the goody stuffs that was in the soup after every serving.. Shh, I don’t prefer telling how many serving I had. That was probably the best option to have and drive for another 9 or 10 hours!
Source: I found a lot of recipes that said it was a copycat of OG’s. Eventually, I chose to go with Chef Pablos! The link to original recipe is Click here! I am grateful and happy I chose this recipe because it is just like the one served in OG!
There are few changes I did to the original recipe. See, that’s me!
Omitted Celery and zucchini, I am not that big fan of Celery even knowing how good it is and zucchini wasn’t fresh in the market! Also, Kale replaced spinach.
Instead of dried herbs except Oregano, I used fresh as I have most of them growing in my patio! End of the year when I make the soup, I will probably use the herbs that I will dry eventually.
Reduced the quantity of canned beans to 1 can each and also the vegetable broth to 3 cups and added a extra cup of hot water. Why? Just so that the vegetables added in soup enhanced the taste!
Serves 4 people who make slurpy noises while sipping their soup!
Ingredients you will need for my version:
3 tbsp Olive oil
2/3 cup White Onions- Finely chopped
4 cloves garlic- chopped
1/2 cup French beans, cut in 1 inch lenght
3 cups Vegetable broth
15 oz canned Red Kidney Beans
15 oz canned White Kidney Beans
15 oz diced Tomato in Tomato juice
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp freshly chopped Sweet Basil
4 0r 5 strings Thyme
1 Tbsp minced Parsley
4 cups hot Water
1/2 cup shelled pasta
1 cup Kale leaves- Chopped
1/2 cup grated Carrot
Freshly crushed black pepper- to taste
Salt to taste
Parmesan- to garnish
Though the ingredients list seems long (20 ingredients including Zucchini), the cooking is going to be simple!
In a large pot, on medium heat, pour olive oil. Add chopped garlic, onions and french beans at the same time. I added a 1/4 tsp of salt to help the onions cook a little faster. Saute till onions are soft and transparent, avoid frying the onions.
Pour the vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, Red and White kidney beans and dry and fresh herbs- Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Parsley. Mix well and crush some pepper into the soup and Simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add hot water, shelled pasta and salt to taste.
As the pasta cooks, add Kale/spinach and grated carrot. (In the original recipe, spinach is added along with hot water but added a little later cause didn’t want a blanched kale/spinach taste. Likewise with grated carrot.)
Check for salt and cook until pasta is well cooked, about 15 minutes.
Grate Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) generously before serving.
Serve hot with Garlic bread or bread sticks.