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THE OLIVE GARDEN’S | Minestrone Soup

by RRR

This recipe is my most watched YouTube video, by far!  And for good reason, it’s freaking delicious!  The Olive Garden’s classic Minestrone Soup  is loaded with vegetables, beans and pasta in a rich, vegetable broth. Definitely hearty enough for dinner and VEGAN too!

The Olive Garden restaurants often refer to themselves as “The OG”, which of course makes sense.  But I often wonder if they really mean “The Original Gangsters” because this restaurant chain is the top dog of Italian-American restaurant chains.  The first Olive Garden was opened on December 13, 1982, in Orlando.  By 1989, there were 145 Olive Garden restaurants, making it the fastest-growing units in the General Mills restaurant division.  Now owned and operated by Darden Restaurants (named for Olive Garden’s founder, Bill Darden) it has over 900 locations in 15 countries and districts and boasts over $3 Billion a year in sales.  That’s a lot of breadsticks!


The marketing campaign that The Olive Garden uses, with unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks, also adds to the restaurant chains popularity.  And why shouldn’t it?  It’s a heck of a deal when a family on a budget can treat the brood out to a fun night at a  restaurant, fill up on soup, salad, and killer breadsticks and then bring the entrees home for dinner the next night.  I would be lying if I said that my family has never done it and really, what family isn’t under a budget?

A little tip when making this soup, however.  Make sure to cook the pasta, separately,  to al dente instructions and add into the soup at the end.  Only give the soup additional cooking time for the pasta to come back up to serving temperature.  I never cook pasta in the soup while it is simmering.  I find that it makes the pasta mushy and the soup gummy.  And when you have leftovers, which you probably will, store the cooked pasta apart from the vegetable and add as needed, per serving.

For a fun Olive Garden restaurant experience at home, serve with the minestrone soup with the The Olive Garden’s House Salad with House Dressing and The Olive Garden’s Fettucine Alfredo and Enjoy! Cheat…the New York Style breadsticks in the grocery freezer section are a pretty good substitution for The OG’s

The Olive Garden's Minestrone Soup

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Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3.2/5
( 21 voted )

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup celery, diced
  • ¾ cup carrots, diced
  • ¾ cup zucchini, cubed
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 TBL tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 16-oz. can of diced tomatoes, juice included
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, fresh
  • 1 16-oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 16-oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 box of mini shell pasta
  • 2 tsp. Good Seasons Italian Seasoning
  • 2 pinches Kosher salt
  • 4-5 cranks of cracked black pepper
  • 3 TBL EVOO

Instructions

Boil the mini shell pasta in salted water until al dente, according to instructions on the box.  Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.

On med-high heat, in a very large stock pot, add the EVOO.  When EVOO shimmers, add the celery, onion, zucchini, carrots, and garlic and cook until just softened.  Stir in the tomato paste.

Stir in the vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, green beans, Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper and baby spinach.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all the vegetables are softened and the spinach has cooked down by ½.

Add the cannellini beans, kidney beans and 2 cups of the al dente cooked pasta.  Remain on heat until just heated throughout, warming the beans and pasta.

FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL

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1 comment

Gerry Remillard March 17, 2024 - 6:22 pm

I love your channel and the way you present copy cat recipes. You tell the history and add in some humor. My wife and I eat out a lot and therefore always interested in how restaurants make their dishes. My only frustration is that I’m on your channel where there are a lot of ads and I find it difficult to download any recipes because of the ads. If you could please email me and tell me how I can navigate your channel and print recipes, I would be very grateful. I am 66 years old and certainly not computer literate like young kids are today. I have gone on many sites of various chefs and never had problems like this one.

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