This hearty Olive Garden minestrone soup recipe is healthy, satisfying and delicious! Perfect year-round, it’s a warm comforting meal for the fall and winter seasons. Enjoy a cup of this savory soup with rustic bread and a crisp garden salad.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling
- 5 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- 3 shallots or 1 large onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped baby carrots
- 3 cups seasonal veggies of choice (examples: zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, potatoes, peas)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper (freshly-ground), to taste
- 8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable broth
- 1 28-ounce can Cento San Marzano whole tomatoes (with juices) or diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 4 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 15.5-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/3 cup dry ditalini pasta (uncooked)
- 3 1/2 cups baby spinach, baby kale, or collard greens (de-stemmed), packed
- Optional garnish: grated Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano
- In a large stock pot, warm olive oil over medium-low heat until the oil shimmers. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Add the shallots (or onion). Sauté until softened. Add carrots and celery. Sauté until tender.
- Sprinkle in the spices: oregano, basil and salt. Grind black pepper into the pot. Add summer veggies to the pot. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable broth. Hand crush the Italian whole tomatoes directly over the pot. Add water to the can. Swish it around to get all the tomato pieces and juices. Add the liquid to the pot. Measure out the tomato paste. Add it in. Stir to combine. Raise heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to low. Add leafy greens to the pot and stir. Add kidney beans and Great Northern beans. Stir briefly to combine. Simmer uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering on the stove, bring a small pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain well.
- Divide the cooked noodles between individual serving bowls. Ladle the soup on top. Garnish each serving with a drizzle of olive oil, more cracked pepper, and grated cheese.
Serve minestrone soup with a loaf of rustic bread and/or a crisp garden salad.
- HOW TO BRIGHTEN THE FLAVOR: A beautiful squeeze of lemon juice.
- PERFECT MAKE-AHEAD RECIPE: Minestrone soup tastes even better the next day! Even after cooking ceases, the rich flavors continue to develop with time. When the flavors meld together in the fridge overnight, the result is a more deliciously-balanced dish.
- CAN MINESTRONE SOUP BE FROZEN? Yes, if it doesn’t contain potatoes (these have a strange texture when frozen), and the pasta is not mixed in, this soup freezes and defrosts very well. Cool the soup after cooking. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag. For compact storage, lay the bag flat.
- HOW TO MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use short yet sturdy gluten-free noodles.
- HOW TO MAKE IT VEGETARIAN: Skip the grated-cheese garnish. Instead, use a vegan Parmesan-style topping.
- Further tips for making this authentic Italian Minestrone soup are included in the body of the post, along with step-by-step recipe images.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 50 Minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Minestrone Soup, Olive Garden Minestrone Soup