The perfect winter warming soup…Minestrone

Its the middle of winter here on the North east coast of Australia and it has been particularly chilly this year…. And given that most Australian houses aren’t built to stay warm, we’re really feeling it this season. Lots of warm nourishing foods and drinks can help remedy this, plus the bazillion layers of clothes worn indoors to stay snug.

And one way to keep warm is to make a big batch of this delicious minestrone soup.

Minestrone was one of Mums go-to soups in winter, it always had the familiar taste of pasta, rich tomato, kidney beans with herbs and spices, it was so nourishing and warming on those chilly winter evenings. 

Mum often used a recipe from one of her favourite cookbooks, The Moosewood Cookbook, which was from a restaurant in New York state. She actually cooked a lot from this book and I have both her copies and often refer to it. It brings back so many memories and somehow brings me closer to her…. 

This recipe is adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook recipe. It is so easy, and you can put it on early in the day and cook on low for a few hours, as it makes it super rich and flavoursome.

Traditionally it’s one of those soups that can vary depending on what Italian region it was made in. It was considered a poor man’s soup, hearty, nourishing and full of nutrients. Pasta, veggies, legumes/beans of some sort, fresh herbs and tomato. So good. 

Note. This version ends up being more like a stew and less soupy.. You can add more liquid. But it’s actually really delicious like this and perfect for toddlers to eat.


Here’s the recipe below

Minestrone Soup (Stew)

Servings 5


  • 1 Medium Brown onion diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove minced
  • 1 Medium carrot sliced
  • 1 Red capsicum diced
  • 1 Medium zucchini diced
  • 1-2 Tomatoes diced
  • 500g jar Organic passata
  • 420g can Red kidney beans drained
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil extra virgin
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Mixed herbs dried
  • 125g Spelt pasta spirals or pasta of choice dried


  • In a large saucepan add 2 tbsp olive oil and diced onion, saute on medium heat until translucent.
  • Add garlic, carrot, capsicum, zucchini, tomato and saute for another 2 minutes
  • Add herbs and spices and salt (bay leaves, sweet paprika, mixed herbs, ground cumin).
  • Pour in Passata and 500ml of water, stir to combine.
    Add in rinsed Kidney beans
  • Bring to a simmer and then lower heat and cook for 1-2 hours until thickened and rich.
  • Finally add in pasta noodles of choice and another 2 cups of water
  • Simmer on low for another 60mins or until Pasta is cooked.
  • Serve in a bowl, garnished with fresh herbs, nutritional yeast flakes and cracked pepper.


Add more liquid as the pasta absorbs water, I prefer less liquid so the consistency is more like a stew. 
Also you can add whatever veggies you have lying around, things like potato, celery, squash, pumpkin etc. 

Note// This recipe is a little late, we’re in the full swing of spring now, but we still occasionally get a chilly day.

More spring recipes on the way.