Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

All Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Who loves Olive Garden?  Out of all the chain restaurants out there I think Olive Garden is the best!  It’s really the only one that doesn’t make people cringe.  After all, who doesn’t love soup, salad and breadsticks??!!  YUM!

I just went to Olive Garden for my daughter’s birthday (her fave place) and while ordering any entrees can throw you off any diet you are on, your plan doesnt have to go awry if you stick with their salad and soup (skip the breadsticks if you can!)

And if going there is too tempting then make their soup at home.  I am pretty positive you will think this soup came from Olive Garden’s kitchen.  Give it a try and this recipe makes enough to serve a dinner party of 10-12 plus more for anyone who wants seconds!  🙂

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion diced small
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini (skin on)
  • 1/2 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 large stalk celery
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (15 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans (15 oz) great northern or small white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (fresh for more aromatics while it cooks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup small whole grain shell pasta

Measure olive oil into a large stock pot and heat on medium and saute the next 5 ingredients for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions become see-through.

Add the vegetable broth, drained tomatoes, beans, carrots, hot water and spices to the pot.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the spinach leaves and the pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

ENJOY!

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December 27, 2011 - Posted by | Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Eating Clean, Family Friendly Restaurants, Low Fat Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X2 | , , , , , , , , ,

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