Does the internet need another Paneer recipe? Between Palak Paneer, Paneer Tikka, Paneer Pulao Who grew up eating out at Olive Garden? I’d always fill up on the breadsticks and soup and never have room for pasta … and the minestrone soup was one of my favorites! Now, I haven’t been to an Olive Garden in decades (aging myself here!) but with the temps dipping below freezing on a daily basis, the soup cravings have been hitting hard.
What I love about this soup is the lack of advance prep needed – the first time we made it, it was a random Monday night and it came together in maybe 30 minutes. Now, let’s talk texture: I am firmly in the camp of hearty and chunky soups, I don’t like the watered down versions that have a few bits of veggies in them. This soup hits it out of the park with plump beans, tons of veggies and pasta for an extra oomph!
Paired with a salad, its the perfect wintery meal … the only thing missing are Olive Garden breadsticks which might be the next recipe we recreate!🙂
Tips & Tricks
- First things first, pasta shape: we had gigli pasta on hand and the little curves soaked up the soup beautifully; any nook and cranny pasta would work like shells or macaroni
- This is a great soup to use any veggies on hand, we used frozen and whatever extra “going bad in the fridge” veggies we had!
- This soup also freezes great, when reheating add a little extra veggie broth or water and bring to a simmer
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 30minutes
- Yield: 3-4 entrée servings
- 1 medium white or yellow onion diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1.5 cups frozen mixed veggies
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 4 cups of veggie broth (32 oz)
- 1 cup pasta uncooked
- 1 can Roman beans (can also use Great Northern or Cannellini beans)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- Red pepper flakes
- Heat a few tbsp of olive oil and cook onions until soft ~5 min
- Added shredded carrots and tomato paste and continue to cook on medium heat for a few minutes
- Add garlic and spices: oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook till fragrant
- Add diced tomatoes, frozen veggies and broth and bring to boil
- Reduced to medium and simmer for ~10 minutes; adjust seasoning as necessary
- Add the pasta, spinach and beans and continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked ~10 minutes
- Finish with lemon juice and some more olive oil
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