Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Almost as good as Olive Garden's

I love minestrone soup, particularly Olive Garden's. It might be more of a sentimental thing, bringing back memories of girl's afternoons out with my mom, eating the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks. However, it's not economical to go out every time I was nostalgic.

The canned versions of minestrone (and most soups, acutally) are far too salty for my taste. My family is also participating in a Healthy Living Challenge, so I've been on the hunt for some vegetable-rich, delicious recipes. I found this one on allrecipes.com, and adapted it slightly.

Minestrone Soup


3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chipped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can green beans
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seashell pasta
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese for topping

In a large stockpot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1-2 minutes.

Add chicken broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, the longer the better.

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.

Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through, place 2 tbsp of cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with bread and salad, if desired.


  1. This looks so healthy and delicious. Good luck on your healthy living challenge. That is definitely something my family needs to do.

  2. Oops, that comment is really from Heidi. Did not realize he was logged in.