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Hearty minestrone

Serves   4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

An Italian inspired soup with chunky vegetables and pasta, perfect to feed a crowd on cooler autumn evenings. Loaded with veges, you can also add leftover chicken or beef.





  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs 
  • 750ml (3 cups) reduced salt chicken stock*
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes  
  • 200g dry pasta*
  • 1/3 pumpkin *, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed  
  • 150g (1 cups) frozen peas*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 150g frozen chopped leaf spinach*

* These ingredients are shared with other recipes from the weekly meal planner.


  1. Heat oil in a large pot on the stove over medium high heat. Sauté onions until softened and stir through garlic, fry until fragrant. Mix in the dried mixed herbs.
  2. Carefully pour in the stock, water, and chopped tomatoes into the pot. Stir through the carrots, cover with a lid and turn the heat to high to bring to a boil.
  3. Add potatoes, stir and bring to a boil. Add pasta, cook for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. 
  4. Mix in pumpkin, cannellini beans, and peas, bring to a boil and test taste, adding salt and pepper if needed. Stir through the frozen spinach, once simmering and pasta and vegetables are tender it is ready to serve. 
Cooking tips: 

- For extra flavour add your favourite spices. 
- This recipe is great for using up any leftover roast beef, roast chicken or deli meat – stir it in with the cannellini beans. 
- The pasta can be cooked separately and added in portions to maintain the texture. 

Adapt it: 

- You can swap the cannellini beans for chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, or any pulses that you enjoy. Alternatively, you can swap them for shredded chicken. 
- Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock for a vegetarian version.
- Use gluten free pasta if required. It can go soft very easily, so it’s better to cook separately and add as you serve.

Kid-friendly alternatives:

- You can swap out the spinach for extra frozen peas or corn if you prefer.
- Try using fun pasta shapes for kids such as the animal ones and call it zoo soup!

Leftover tips:

- Eat for lunch the next day or portion into containers and freeze. If cooking the pasta separately, this can also be frozen in portions and reheated with the soup base. 

Skill level: Easy as