Yesterday I shared recipes that use a lot of one particular vegetable. Today I wanted to share one of my favorite “a bit of this and a bit of that” soups. It is based on Copy Cat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup . The original recipe really does taste like Olive Garden’s minestrone soup and I highly recommend it. Although I love the original, I cannot help modifying the recipe during harvest season to add more fresh spices and garden vegetables.
Replacing frozen or canned vegetables with fresh vegetables will not increase the cooking time (but does increase the prep time), if the recipe calls for you to boil the vegetables in liquid for more than ten minutes. Most fresh vegetables will cook in boiling liquid in less than ten minutes. Some vegetables, like potatoes will need to be cut into bite size pieces to cook in that amount of time. If a recipe does not require 10 minutes of boiling, you can steam your raw vegetables in a double boiler for 7 – 10 minutes before adding them in place of canned or frozen in your recipe. Since this recipe calls for a total of 30 minutes of boiling, I do not have to make any adjustments for the fresh vegetables.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, minced
- ½ cup zucchini, chopped
- ½ cup fresh green beans, cut
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 7 – 8 cups Vegetable Broth
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained
- 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans, drained
- 4 cups fresh tomatoes, diced (or 2 cans with juice)
- ½ cup carrots, julienned or shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 3 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced (or ¾ teaspoon dried
- ¾ teaspoon fresh thyme
- 3 – 4 cups fresh baby spinach (or frozen spinach thawed)
- ¾ cup small shell pasta* or spaghetti *broken up in small pieces
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a very large soup pot. Add onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini and sauté in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
- Add vegetable broth tomatoes, beans, carrots, and spices to the pot. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
More Soup Recipes:
I usually fall back on soups and chili to use up the odds and ends; my mother-in-law uses up the remnants in hash. Do you have a favorite “a bit of this and a bit of that” recipe?