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  • Writer's pictureYiannoulla Burness

Hearty Minestrone Soup

This is a favourite soup of mine. Its flavourful, colourful and filling, a great winter warming soup. It is made combining seasonal vegetables, herbs, spices and pasta in a vegetable stock. The addition of chilli for a little heat is optional and adds a rich warming taste.

Be creative when making this soup, use what you have available, you may have left over vegetables that need using, take out and add in what you desire. Any leftover soup may be placed in the freezer for a future meal. I usually make a double recipe and measure and freeze individual meal servings.


A large cooking pot or stock pot.


light tasting cooking oil, leave out if oil free

150g leek, finely chopped

160g brown onion, finely chopped

130g carrot, finely diced

110g turnip diced

130g swede, diced

100g zucchini, diced 4 tablespoons tomato paste

1 heaped tablespoon Italian dried herbs

1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

1/4 -1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)

6 - 8 cups of vegetable broth or 6-8 cups of water plus 5 vegetable stock cubes

90g uncooked pasta shells

400g tinned tomatoes organic, (crushed or diced)

400g tinned chickpeas or other beans cooked

4-6 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes

1-1/2 teaspoons sweetener (optional)

3/4 cup parsley finely chopped for garnish


(1) Prepare and chop or dice leek, onion, carrot, turnip, swede and zucchini into small bite size pieces.

(2) Heat a stock pot on low heat and add 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil. If oil free add small amount of water to saute' vegetables.

*Add leek, onion, carrot, turnip, swede and zucchini, saute' while stirring for a couple of minutes until vegetables begin to sweat down.

(3) Add tomato paste, Italian herbs, turmeric and chilli powder continue to sauté and stir another couple of minutes.

*Add vegetable broth or water and stock cubes, turn heat up to high, once it comes to a boil turn heat down to a gentle simmer and cook until vegetables are just tender.

(4) While vegetables are cooking take a saucepan and heat up enough water to cook the pasta shells.

*Once water has come to a boil add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt add pasta shells and cook until al dente, drain pasta and set aside.

(5) When vegetables are tender add drained cooked pasta shells, crushed or diced cooked tomatoes, beans and nutritional yeast flakes.

(6) Continue cooking for another ten minutes to combine the flavours.

*The soup will thicken as it cools.

*If you want more liquid in your soup now is the time to add it. Sometimes I add another 2 cups of water and another stock cube.

*Taste for flavour add more seasoning etc if needed. Add sweetener now if you choose to, it brings all the flavours together.

*Finally add fresh parsley stir in and leave.

Serve with fresh bread of your choice.

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