Easy 30-Minute Minestrone Soup Recipe (Better-Than-Olive-Garden-Copycat)

The soup tastes even better than the Olive Garden version that I remember. Homemade is always best. It’s hearty, comforting, and filled with so many healthy vegetables including carrots, celery, zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, and sweet Vidalia onions and garlic for flavor. There’s three kinds of beans including red kidney beans, cannellini beans, and green beans. There are quite a few herbs used and if you don’t have them all on hand or aren’t as fond of a particular herb, you can probably omit it. Make sure to salt your soup to taste. The saltiness of ingredients varies among brands and everyone’s personal preference for salt varies, so salt to taste.



3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 large onion)
1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced small (about 1 small/medium zucchini)
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 1 1/2 large carrots)
1 cup celery, sliced thin (about 2 stalks)
4 garlic cloves, minced
64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups small macaroni shells or small shell pasta
two 14.5-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes (I use no-salt added)
one 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I use no-salt added)
one 15-ounce can great northern white beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I use no-salt added)
one 15-ounce can cut green beans, drained and rinsed (I use no-salt added)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
2 1/2 to 3 cups fresh spinach, tightly packed
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
salt, to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional and for garnishing


  1. To a very large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  2. Add the onion, zucchini, carrots, celery, and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Visit Easy 30-Minute Minestrone Soup (Better-Than-Olive-Garden-Copycat) @ averiecooks.com for full directions.

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