Minestrone soup

This thick and chunky soup is the epitome of a hearty winter soup. It's missing the potato of a traditional Minestrone but kids love it because it tastes like pasta and you can pack in lots of vegetables and nutrients. Use vegetable stock to make this vegetarian.
Minutes preparation and cooking
Degree of difficulty

Minestrone soup


1 cup (250g) pearl barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cabbage, shredded
100g green beans, cut into 2cm lengths
1.2kg (3 tins) crushed tomatoes
2 litres stock, vegetable or chicken 
salt and pepper
1 handful basil, chopped
50g parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Place pearl barley in a strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, carrot, celery and zucchini and cook for a few minutes. When onion is softened, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Finally add cabbage, beans, tomatoes, stock and pearl barley.
  3. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours.
  4. Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and basil.

Tip: Don't have pearl barley? Use small pasta shells instead. Add towards the end so they don't overcook. 

Leftovers: This recipe freezes really well, so pop half in the freezer for another night.

Variations: Add diced bacon or beef and cook with the onion for a meatier flavour.

Recipe from Summer TABLE by Jodie Blight.

Summer table

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