By *~Suzy~* on December 01, 2003
Photo by run for your life
Photo by run for your life
"It's finally here! What everyone's been waiting for! Just in time for winter, this soup is sure to warm your soul with it's savory flavor and wonderful aroma. I've asked many an Olive Garden waiter for this recipe, but none gave it to me in detail. One waiter told me the secret ingredient was to add a little red wine to the stock, but I'll leave that up to you to try."
Serving Size: 1 (426 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
"I work at Olive Garden, and every time I dish out a bowl at work for a guest, a crave comes over me the size of the empire state building! And while I could probably get away with it, I don't feel like risking my job for a quick gulp of the best soup ever. So, I've been scouring the web for something that would satisfy this craving. This recipe was close. Very close. A few things I'd change to make it more true to the Olive Garden recipe: I wouldn't chop the zucchini, but slice it. I'd add cabbage. I'd leave out at least one can of beans, and add another can of tomato. It needs more pepper. I'd increase the amount of green beans. There is something else too, that I can't put my finger on . Maybe I'll do a little digging at work and find out. But anyway, this is really close and very good so thanks for posting."
"I just have to say that the wine makes all of the difference in this recipe. It's good without it...but it's totally Olive Garden's soup with it. I used about 1/2 cup of Yellowtail Shiraz in the last 15-20 minutes. When it was done I nearly died. This is seriously the secret to Olive Garden's minestrone!!!!!!"
"Wow! This is some good soup. I have never tried it at Olive Garden, but if you say this is close I will have to go try it soon. Flavors, color, just the right amount of herbs and seasonings are all here. I did not add the red wine until I try OG's to see if it really is in there. However, this was absolutely lovely and I thank you Suzy for sharing it. I would recommend this to anyone!"
"Great Soup! I did make a few adjustments. I did not chop my celery, I sliced it with leaves. I did not add my garlic or zucchini (sliced) until I added my spinach. I hate mushy zucchini and I wanted the garlic punch. I did not drain my tomatoes. After reading the reviews about adding tomato paste I thought why toss out all that good juice. Due to the added liquid and the fact that I cook my pasta per servings in a separate pot (due to freezing) I only added 2 cups of hot water. I did add the 1/2 cup red wine and about 1 T. red wine vinegar with about 15 minutes to go. I topped it with grated asiago at the table. I'm in soup heaven! Thanks for posting! Di ;-)"
"We had this soup at an Olive Garden when we were in Michigan last year. And, yes, it was this soup! Tasted just like it! This will be a staple in our kitchen! Thanks for the recipe!"
"My husband LOVES OG Minestrone. We have tried the "other" recipes claiming to be it--but this is the real deal. We added a splash (okay, maybe more!) of a light, sweet red wine and it was wonderful."
"We absolutely loved this soup. I added a small can of tomato paste, used Italian stewed tomatoes which I had on hand, and added 2/3 cup red wine. I had to use half chicken broth, because I live in a hick town that doesn't have veggie broth. And I only used 1 can each of the beans because, really, 4 cans is just too much! Now if I could just have some OG breadsticks and salad with it..."
"I read this recipe and it sounded delicious. That is how I start most of my recipes, is to start with one that is good to begin with. I like meat in my soups so I started with about 1 1/2 lbs. of mild Italian sausage, casings removed and sauted until cooked and slightly browned. Drain grease. Add onions, green beans, celery and garlic. Saute. Instead of 4 cups vegetable broth I used 2 - 1 Litre tetra boxes of vegetable broth and minus the hot water. I also used 4 cups Italian stewed (homemade) instead of the diced tomatoes plus I did not drained the tomatoes. As the tomatoes were Italian, I also did not use the spices, although if I had used regular stewed tomatoes I would have used the spices stated. I also used 3/4 cup of small shell pasta. I also used only 1 can each of the beans. This made for a very delicious and hearty soup. I thank you for my good beginnings."
"This soup is amazing! Even if it's not EXACTLY like Olive Garden's, it's just as delicious. I have a friend who has told me it's some of the best she's ever had! I changed it a little bit: I only added one can of each of the beans, doubled the amount of water, eyeballed the amount of vegetables (probably more than what the recipe calls for), sliced (instead of chopped) the zucchini, and per recommendation of other reviewers, added in a can of tomato paste. I also didn't drain the diced tomatoes or add as much spinach. Didn't have any red wine on hand, but next time I'll definitely have to try that."
"Great recipe. Taste is extremely close to Olive Garden's. I prefer to use 4 veggie bullion cubes disolved in 4 cups of hot water as a substitute for canned stock. I use this recipe all the time. Yummy Yummy Yummy!"
"This has become a staple, so much so that I freeze sufficient prepared zucchini and green beans for this winter treat. Have followed suggestions to include tomato paste, undrained tomatoes, red wine, parmesan rind and double garlic. I found the bought stock too salty and use only my own. This is further from the original recipe, but I also substitute cavelo nero from my garden for the spinach. Blend it up with some water and add. A hearty soup indeed."
"This was a very nice soup. Was it Olive Garden Minestrone ... NO. There was a few flavors off, not enough tomato flavor and depth of flavors. Spinach, MY OG does not add spinach, but ...
Yes, this was a very nice soup. And I did enjoy it. And yes, there is a little red wine vinegar at the end of cooking, but also red wine in the broth. NOW, everyone has to remember, that a lot of their ingredients are commercial, so we can't duplicate it exactly. But this was very nice.
I added a bit of tomato paste for a little richness, and as I said ... it is close, and very good which is why I gave it 5 stars. I just can't say it is just like OG's recipe.
But definitely worth making!"
"This soup was ALMOST EXACTLY like Olive Garden's minestrone. SO GOOD! Thanks Todd! When I first tasted it it was really good but, I thought it wasn't quite as red or tomato-y as Olive Garden's so I added a very small 5.5 oz can of low-sodium V-8 juice and it was perfect! I also threw in a little bit of shredded cabbage which was good. I will definitely make this again. Amazing!"
"This is a wonderful soup at any time of the year! This week I went to Olive Garden, and as usual, ordered the soup. My waitperson said that they don't give out the recipe, but she did tell me that they put Chianti in it. Is this correct??"
"Just made this soup tonight. I used only one can of beans and for the can of tomatoes I used a can of stewed tomatoes (added a nice flavour) and also used all vegetable broth instead of broth and water. I was really, really good. Restaurant quality all the way. The only thing I will do differently next time is use a little less salt due to using all broth. Topped it with a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese....YUMMY"
"Extremely close to Olive Garden. I absolutely loved it... made the second batch and added 1 Cup of Pinot Noir (or any sweet red wine) and 1 8oz can of Tomato Paste to give it the signature OG red broth and flavor. I highly recommend trying it with these additions!"
"I roasted all my veggies for this, then pureed half the soup with my immersion blender (before adding any beans). This soup was fabulous. It's very good topped with a bit of olive oil and some parm cheese."
"This tates just like Olive Garden's ! I make it once a month and the only problem is how fast its finished between me and my husband. Great taste!"
"This went together nicely. I did do a couple things differently. I added the carrots with the rest of the veggies. I did not drain my tomatoes (not sure why you would). I added 1 cup of red wine and, finally, I used chicken broth. Great soup - makes a lot more than 8 servings."
"Followed other reviewers's tips about adding more vegetable broth in lieu of the water, adding a bit of tomato sauce, undrained tomatoes,some red wine and less beans. All good ideas--soups are meant to be individually tweaked, and I loved the easy-to-make end product. Thanks, Suzy!"