Margarita's International Recipes


Minestrone Soup

 Minestrone Soup

This is a vegan recipe.

Minestrone is a basic vegetable soup that can be augmented with anything you have around - from legumes, to meats and cereals. It's as old as Rome itself, though it has evolved significantly through the centuries and millennia. It started as a wheat porridge, to which any available vegetables were added and became a bonafide enhanced vegetable soup as Rome's conquests enriched the purses of its citizens and brought all sorts of meats and vegetables to its markets. Eventually, it incorporated pasta and, after the discovery of America, tomatoes and potatoes.

Minestrone crossed the Atlantic with Italian immigrants and quickly made it into the repertoire of Italian and American restaurants alike - as well as home kitchens. It makes sense: it's hearty soup and extremely flexible, if you have an ingredient that you need to use up, just throw it in.

For this project, I decided to make a copy cat recipe to the Olive Garden's minestrone soup - mostly because it's vegan and my daughter likes it. I was able to find a couple of recipes online, though I modified them slightly to fit the ingredients I had at home and my daughter's preferences. It did not, I'm sorry to say, taste at all like the Olive Garden's soup. My daughter, however, was pretty happy with it.


Minestrone Soup


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4 - 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15.5-oz can cannellini beans
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green beans, cut in 1" pieces
  • 1 cup angel hair pasta, cut into 2" pieces or small shell pasta
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves or shredded kale


Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onion, zucchini, carrot and celery and cook until soft, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, turn heat to high, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then stir in the cannellini beans, the kidney beans, if using, and the green beans. Once the soup is boiling again, add the pasta, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Add the baby spinach or kale and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Adapted from Sara's Olive Garden copycat recipe at Dinner at the Zoo

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