Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Summer Vegetable Minestrone

A vegetable minestrone soup made with zucchini, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cannellini beans and pasta in a Parmesan broth.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves or chopped kale
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup whole grain elbow pasta
  • 4-5 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 fresh Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, heat olive oil to medium. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook 7-8 minutes or until soft.  Add spinach/kale, garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper and sauté 1-2 minutes, until greens are wilted.
  2. Add diced tomatoes with juice, beans, pasta, stock and Parmesan rind to the pot and bring to a slow simmer. Cook 8-10 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente.  Stir in zucchini and cook 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Scoop minestrone into bowls and top with fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Discard the Parmesan rind or save for another use.


Cooking Tips: Add ground Italian sausage or cubed chicken breast for a higher protein soup.  Be sure it’s slightly browned on the exterior before adding the liquid ingredients (tomatoes, stock) and be sure it’s fully cooked before consuming.


Keywords: easy, ideas, vegetable soup, summer, vegetable, healthy