Monday, December 6, 2010

Copy Cat: Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

So I got his from a friend… who will remain nameless, and I think it tastes pretty close to the original… I would love to do a throw down, but there are no Olive Gardens in Alaska! LAME! Something I noticed that made all the difference, use fresh veggies and herbs.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced white onion (about 1 small onion)
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup frozen cut Italian green beans
1/4 cup minced celery (about 1/2 stalk)
4 teaspoons minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
4 cups vegetable broth (Swanson is good)
2 15-ounces cans red kidney beans, drained
2 15-ounce cans small white beans
        or great northern beans, drained
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup julienned or shredded carrot
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup small seashell pasta

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or stockpot. Saute onion, zucchini, green beans, celery and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes or until onion begins to turn translucent. 

2. Add broth to pot, plus drained beans, tomatoes, carrot, spices, bay leaves, and hot water. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired soupy thickness.

Makes about eight 1 1/2-cup servings.

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