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Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I hope you have plans to stuff yourself silly with turkey, gravy and (my personal favorite) mashed potatoes! I know I do.

My recipe for you today has nothing to do with Thanksgiving or leftovers. I’m so great at staying topical. Nonetheless, this ┬áis a perfect copycat of Olive Garden’s signature minestrone soup. This is an easy recipe that’s full of hearty, good-for-you vegetables, which you just might be craving after eating your body weight in pumpkin pie. Hey, maybe I am topical after all!

 
Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone
from Food.com
Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced white onion (about 1 small onion)
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup frozen cut Italian cut 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 *note ( Do not use chicken broth!*)
2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained
2 (15 ounce) cans small white beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans, drained
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup carrot (julienned or shredded)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup small shell pasta

Directions

  1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

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