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Minestrone Soup

Equipment needed

  • Large heavy based saucepan with lid
  • chopping board
  • sharp knife
  • tablespoon
  • wooden spoon or spatula
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Minestrone soup
(Serves 4-6)
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: 1hr – 1 and ¼ hrs


  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots peeled, cut in to quarters and sliced finely
  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed and sliced finely
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 stock cube or 1 heaped teaspoon reduced salt bouillon powder
  • 900ml / 1½ pints boiling water
  • A handful of pearl barley
  • 1 medium potato peeled
  • 1 courgette topped and tailed
  • ¼ head of shredded cabbage
  • 1 pepper, deseeded
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • A handful of dried spaghetti (or other pasta), broken into small bits
  • 1 tin of haricot beans or similar
  • A handful of frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs -parsley/oregano/basil
    (1 teaspoon if using dried herbs)
  • Add pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy based pan and fry the onion over a low heat for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Add carrot, celery and garlic to the onions, stir well and continue frying gently for 5 – 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes (or passata) and the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Make up the stock by dissolving the stock cube/bouillon powder in the water.
  5. Add it to the pan along with the barley and bring back to the boil.
  6. Cover and simmer while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
  7. Add the hardest (e.g. root vegetables) first, and the softer ones later.
  8. Simmer the soup for a further 30 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked.
  9. Add the pasta, drained beans and peas to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  10. Add the herbs and taste to check seasoning.
  11. Add pepper if desired.

Budget tips: Use frozen vegetables such as spinach or mixed vegetable bag.

Storage: 3 days in the fridge but can be stored for 3 months in the freezer in individual portions.

Swaps and additions: You can use any vegetables you have in the fridge such as parsnip, swede, spring onion, cherry tomatoes in addition or as alternatives.

Serving suggestions: Serve with crusty bread.