Saturday, August 7, 2010

Brooke Cooks - Minestrone Soup

Growing up, we didn't eat out at restaurants much because of how expensive it can be.  One of our favorite restaurants was Olive Garden, so we would go there each year on the 4th of July.  My dad has always been a fan of trying to recreate restaurant meals at home, since it is so much cheaper (and healthier) to make it yourself.  A number of years ago, we came up with this near-duplicate to Olive Garden's minestrone together and it is absolutely my favorite soup to make and eat.  It isn't very difficult, and it tastes great!  Plus, it's an excellent way to enjoy a dinner filled with veggies.

 4 TB olive oil
1 TB minced garlic
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 can green beans
1 bag fresh spinach (or more!)
2 15.5 oz cans kidney beans
1 15.5 oz can great northern beans
1 15.5 oz can white beans
1 28 oz large can diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup red wine
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry shell pasta

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add diced onions and garlic.  Saute onions until soft.  Add green beans, spinach, beans, tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, wine, and vegetable broth.  Cook until spinach wilts.  Turn to low and simmer for about one hour.  (If you're in a hurry, skip to the next step without simmering for one hour.  This makes it more flavorful, but isn't necessary.)

Add shell pasta and simmer on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes.  (I like to add a little more red wine at this point - taste the soup and adjust to your liking.)  Serve and enjoy!

My dad always adds zucchini to this, but I'm not a huge zucchini fan, so I don't normally put it in.  But feel free to add zucchini (and other veggies)!  This is a DELICIOUS soup and it tastes great with a nice, hearty bread.  This minestrone tastes even better the next day, once the broth has thickened a little and the flavors have all muddled a bit.  I hope you all enjoy it!!


Sarah B. said...

Ohh yummy!
And it's vegetarian! Nice!
I will try this at home :)

Unknown said...

mmmmm... YUMMYUMM. :)

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

Looks really good! Will have to give it a try when the weather cools down!

Zara said...

Yum! I do love a good homemade soup, and this looks and sounds delicious. I'm emailing a link to my mom. :)

Kitty said...

I LOVE their minestrone soup! I get that when I do their soup and salad (since I don't eat salads cause I can't stand the crunch and taste of the raw veggies). I will have to try this out. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

P.S. I got the prize from your 2nd anniversary giveaway and posted about it on my blog. Just FYI. :) Thanks again for hosting such a great giveaway and I hope I will reach my 2 year eventually (I have a while, haha).

Unknown said...

Yummy! I'll have to try it (^_^)

Megan Harmeyer said...

YUM! Thank you for this - I love minestrone soup (especially OG's). Once upon a time, my mom and I found a dupe recipe for Chili's Chicken Enchilada soup - I'll have to post that one some time.

Erika said...

Yum! That looks so good. I love soup and that recipe looks healthy and easy enough for even this not so accomplished cook to make. Thanks for posting the recipe. :D

Aurora's Nails said...

MMMMMMMM that looks so good! I love Minestrone! Thank you so much for this recipe!

Bregje said...

Ahh I love minestrone soup, haven't had it in ages tho.
I should make it again soon, and will try this recipe sometime as well!
I usually have it with some bacon in it and grated cheese on top, mmmm :)

Eva said...

it looks yummmyyy :)
& i just want ti let you know that i tagged you here:

i hope that's okay.

Designed by Custom Scrapbook Blog Designs