My Minestrone Soup by Catherine Arnold Nutrition

This soup is a meal in a bowl and substantial enough for dinner. Thick and wholesome, with loads of veggies, and protein from the beans. Delicious on its own, but even better with a dollop of homemade pesto – a nutritional boost of herbs, garlic and olive oil which is bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Homemade, slow cooked chicken stock will take this soup to another level of yumminess and nutritional status. But it also works well as a vegan recipe.


4 carrots (approx 230g), finely chopped

3 small leeks (approx 150g), finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 small potatoes (approx 320g)

1/2 large courgette cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 can or carton of cannelini beans

1 carton of chopped tomatoes (390g) 3 large very ripe tomatoes

3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water

2 bay leaves, folded a few times to release flavour

6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried or 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

Handful of basil leaves

Handful of parsley, chopped

Olive oil

150g brown rice pasta spirals (Doves Farm are a good brand) or your choice of pasta

Pesto Ingredients:

2 large handfuls of either oregano, basil or parsley

1 handful of kale or spinach (optional)

1 handful of pumpkin seeds (presoaked if possible)

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup & 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp nutritional yeast for a vegan pesto or 2 tbsp grated organic parmesan cheese

Pinch of Himalayan salt, to taste


In a casserole dish or heavy bottomed pan add 1 tbsp olive oil over a low heat. Add the onions, carrots and leeks and stir to help them soften, do not burn or brown. Cook for 5 minutes or so, then add the bay leaves, thyme, oregano and stir for a few more minutes.

Add the stock or water, potatoes, beans and tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low for 1 -2 hours to allow the flavours to develop. While the soup is cooking, whizz up all the ingredients for the pesto in your blender until desired consistency (i like mine slightly textured) you could also do it in a pestle and mortar if you prefer. Put your pasta on to cook following the instructions on the packet.

When the soup is ready, mash a few of the potatoes with a fork against the side of the pan to create a lovely thick soup. Season with the salt to taste. Add the parsley and tear the basil into smaller pieces and stir through. Ladle the soup into bowls and then add a glug of good Extra Virgin Olive Oil into each bowl along with a handful of pasta and a dollop of homemade pesto.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *