Olive Garden Inspired Minestrone Soup

This dish has such a medley of flavors and the perfect marriage of ingredients.  They compliment each other so well and the best part was I made this on Sunday and so far it’s lasted me ALL week for lunch! 


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I get so excited when I find new staple recipes I love that are healthy and super nutritious, I’ll definitely be adding this to my bi-weekly menu.  This also freezes really well too if you want to make a few batches to keep on hand…trust me, you’ll want to!To make this dish completely clean and even less calories, feel free to omit the tiny pasta shells.  I try to eat clean as much as possible, but I do love pasta from time to time…so sue me.  But really, how can you go wrong with all fresh ingredients, tons of veggies and spices such as thyme, basil and oregano?  It’s also the perfect little pick-me-up on a freezing cold December day.


INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen cut green beans
  • ¼ cup celery, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can small white beans, drained
  • ½ (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup carrots, julienned
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1½ cups hot water
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ⅓ cup small pasta shells
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and saute onion, celery, garlic, zucchini and green beans, about 5 minutes.
  2. Then add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, allowing soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add baby spinach leaves and pasta, cooking an additional 20 minutes, then serve. Enjoy!

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