Minestrone soup is a classic Italian soup jam-packed with vegetables, beans, pasta and spices. This is a thick soup and best suited as an entree rather than an appetizer as it is quite filling. There is no particular recipe for this particular soup. You may add your own choice of vegetables and consider this as a best way to make use of your left overs! Pasta or rice is added to the soup towards the end. This can be converted to a non vegetarian soup too with the addition of chicken broth and meat.
I adopted the recipe from the book 'Top Secret Restaurant Recipes' by Todd Wilbur but changed the original recipe to suit my taste. This recipe is a perfect clone of Olive Garden's Minestrone Soup.Olive Garden describes this soup as "Fresh vegetables, beans and pasta in a light tomato broth-a vegetarian classic". Imagine making America's famous restaurant dishes in our kitchens and enjoying having those in the warmth and comfort of our own homes with the few dollars still in your wallet! This was what exactly Todd Wilbur hoped to achieve and after reading his few recipes and having personally tried out each I should say that he has done a perfect job. He says in his book how cool it is to make these famous recipes at home and then watch people freak out when they take a bite!! Though having never worked at these restaurant chains he saw each recipe as a mystery waiting to be unravelled. Using kitchen sleuthing techniques that took a long time he has finally sculpted the perfect clones!
Ingredients- Serves 4
1/2 white onion minced
Baby Spinach chopped - 3 cups
Zucchini- 1/2 cup chopped
Snow peas- 10 chopped
Celery stalks- 2 minced
Garlic cloves -2 minced
Vegetable Broth- 5 1/2 cups( I used Swanson)
Canned cooked red kidney beans drained- 3/4th of a 15 oz can
Canned cooked Northern beans(white beans) drained- 3/4th of a 15 oz can
Tomatoes - 2 chopped
Carrot -1 shredded
Minced fresh parsley - 2 tbsp
Italian seasoning - 1.5 tsp
Basil leaves - 1 tbsp chopped
Rotini pasta/ Small Seashell pasta - 1/2 cup(I used whole wheat rotini)
Bay leaves -2
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
- Heat butter in a stockpot over medium heat.
- Saute onion, zucchini, snow peas, celery and garlic for few minutes until onion turns transparent.
- Add 3 cups of broth along with tomatoes, drained beans, carrot, all seasonings, parsley, basil, bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low medium and cook with a closed lid for about 15 minutes.
- Add spinach and pasta along with the remaining 2.5 cups broth and cook for additional 25-30 minutes or until the soup attains the desired thickness/pasta is well cooked.
- Serve with bread rolls.
This goes to:
No Croutons Required hosted by Jacqueline.