Have you ever had Olive Garden’s Minestrone Soup? It is so yummy! This hearty, healthy vegetarian soup is full of nutritional goodness. A combination of beans, vegetables and optional pasta in a yummy broth that is flavorful, but not overly spicy. This is so easy to make, especially when using my favorite, Instant Pot or slow cooker. It can be made on the stove top as well.
The other night I made this up and my son said, after his second bowl, “This is really good, even with all these vegetables.” What I love about this soup, is that you can throw in whatever you have available. I try to stay stocked up in canned beans. tomatoes and broth so it is an easy go to recipe when trying to think of something healthy and hearty for dinner. Speaking of broth. One copycat recipe stated NOT to use chicken broth, but I have made it both ways and like it both ways.
This little gem has seriously been one of my best purchases! I use this almost every day. I started using a pressure cooker a few years ago and had just a stove top style. I liked it but I had to sit and babysit while stuff was cooking. This baby you just program things in and go on with your business. You can steam veggies, pressure cook, use as a slow cooker, makes beautiful rice, and can even make yogurt. I hesitated buying an electric one because they all seemed to have that nasty coating on the inside. This has a stainless steel pot. LOVE IT!
Anyway, back to the recipe. I have been tweaking a lot of recipes for the Instant Pot and here is one of them. I will show how easy it is to make both in the pressure cooker and on the stove top.
One more kitchen tool I have to share with you. Now you have to know, I am not one to have a bunch of unnecessary gadgets in my kitchen. ( I don’t have room.) So the tools I do have are functional and items I use frequently. This is another one of them. It is a fruit and veggie chopper by Progressive. I use it all the time to make my Morning Muesli and to chop veggies for soups and salads.
Minestrone Ingredients – 8 Servings
- 3 Tablespoons avocado or coconut oil
- 1 cup white onion chopped ( about 1 small)
- 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup green beans
- 1/4 cup chopped celery ( about 1/2 stalk)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans, drained
- 2 (15 oz.) cans small white beans or great northern beans, drained
- 1 (14 oz. ) can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup carrot (julienned, chopped or shredded)
- 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
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups water
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup small shell pasta (optional)
- Choose the saute setting and add oil, onion celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini.
- Saute for about 5 minutes or until onions begin t turn translucent.
- Add broth, drained tomatoes, kidney beans, carrot, water and spices. (Do not add white beans at this time).
- Change the settings on the Instant Pot to “SOUP” and set for only 3 minutes. (It will take about 25 minutes to bring up to pressure and cook 3 minutes)
- Release pressure using the “quick release” and add pasta, white beans and spinach.
- Put the lid back on tight, AND SIT FOR 10 minutes or so. (You don’t need to turn it back on).
- Saute ingredients in a large soup pot, just as described above.
- Add all the rest of the items and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
There you have it, a wonderful, hearty, homemade satisfying and soothing soup.