This copycat minestrone recipe is even better than Olive Garden!
I absolutely love minestrone soup! I love the colorful, fresh ingredients and how warm and satisfying it is. Last week I went to Olive Garden with my husband for a spontaneous mid-week dinner date. I’ve been craving minestrone soup ever since! This homemade version turned out even better than the restaurant’s. I made a huge batch and now I have lunch for the week. I always cook fresh pasta shells when I re-heat the soup so they’re always al dente and never mushy.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced white onions
1/4 cup chopped green beans
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cloves minced garlic
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 can red kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and ground black pepper to taste
3 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
Small shell pasta or macaroni, cooked separately
Chop vegetables so that they are small enough to fit on a spoon. Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, green beans, zucchini, celery, and garlic and saute until onion is cooked, 5-10 minutes depending on your pan and size of vegetables.
Drain beans and rinse well with cold water.
Add broth, carrots, beans, tomatoes, water, and dried spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Roughly chop baby spinach.
Add spinach and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
During the final 20 minutes of simmering time, cook pasta until it’s al dente. Only cook enough pasta for the soup you will be eating immediately.
Taste soup to see if vegetables are soft.
When the soup is ready, spoon cooked pasta into soup bowl(s). Ladle soup over pasta and mix.
Split leftover soup into single serving freezer containers to enjoy later. Cook fresh pasta when you re-heat soup to avoid mushy noodles.