Olive Garden Soup Menu: The Best, Ranked

Olive Garden Soup Menu: The Best, Ranked

It may not be up to any James Beard awards or Michelin stars, but Olive Garden has a special place in the larger cultural-culinary landscape thanks to a certain Americana charm and feel-good food, like endless bowls of filling pasta , hot garlic bread sticks and their famous solid soups.

For only $ 11, Olive Garden’s soup, salad and bread sticks lunch combination is still one of the best deals in town (and by town I mean country because those things are everywhere). But which version of this package is the best deal? To find out, I decided to try all four soups and report back with a ranking from fine to fantastic.

Before we reveal the competition’s three medalists, let’s meet the honorable mention: Pasta e Fagioli.

A mixture of this soup revealed mixed celery slices, pieces of carrots, red and white beans, tube paste and beef. It was a vision that had my taste buds on the edge of their figurative seats. What wonders were in store from this combination of ingredients ?! I lifted the spoon to my lips to enjoy the first bite… and it was okay. I was expecting a chunk of spices, but the taste of minced beef overpowered everything else. Luckily, dipping two bread sticks provided some necessary salt for the equation. I will say that even though the flavors did not knock my socks off, the soup was gone before I knew it. The thick texture was comfortable to munch on and the meal kept me full all afternoon.

The minestrone soup was a melting pot of green leaves, onions, tomatoes, celery, green beans, zucchini, scallop paste and beans. If this soup was a piece of clothing, it would be a cotton t-shirt. Simple, yet satisfying. It is also the one vegan soup option, so as a comfortable plain white t-shirt, it can be enjoyed by everyone. I did not find that there was a lack of flavor, so this time it was the semi-rigid bread stick that needed the soup. My only complaint is that it looked like the peeled tomatoes had been taken out of the can and popped directly into the soup throughout. Since I’m one of those weirdos who loves Bloody Mary’s and red sauce but can not handle the texture of the unadulterated fruits myself, I was left with three whole tomatoes at the bottom of my bowl. Granted, it’s due to a personal quirk, but one I know I share with more than a few people.

This soup felt like a warm hug on a cold winter day. A creamy broth formed the basis for chicken pieces and the traditional Italian dumplings on steroids. The gnocchi was XXL, about the size of chewing gum balls. And if you imagine something near al dente, think again. When it came to these cool masses, it was hard to say where the noodle house ended and the potato filling began. Not that I’m complaining – I enjoyed the starchy feel. I also have to highlight the beautiful partnership of chicken and gnocchi soup with breadsticks. Dipping one in the bowl was like performing a chemical reaction that changed both substances to create something new. In this case, the cream-soaked bread stick tasted something like a salty slice of dulce de leche cake.

Zuppa Toscana takes the top prize in my book. Pieces of Italian sausage gave the dish a bacon flavor with hints of fennel and just the right amount of heat. The other blends also provided a welcome variation in terms of size and texture – from small onion and pepper flakes to coarse kale leaves and large tender sliced ​​potatoes. Each spoonful was a new medley of different chunks. Here and lunch, there and lunch, everywhere and lunch lunch. I enjoyed this soup so much that I neglected my breadsticks until I used them to soak up the very last pieces of broth!

A note about the salad

Each of my salads-to-go consisted of almost a pound of iceberg lettuce and sliced ​​onions topped sparsely with pepperoncini, tomato slices and black olives (one day I got exactly two of each!). The highlight here were the perfectly crispy croutons – I wish there had been more than seven or eight in a bag! But then again, after eating two foot long bread sticks, I can not really complain about the lack of carbohydrates in this lunch magazine

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