Friday, March 23, 2012

Hearty Italian Vegetable Soup

I'm trying to be extra healthy just now in a bid to lose a bit of weight so this has become one of my favourite soups. It is really filling and hearty but so healthy and unbelievably delicious as well. If you would like to make it more substantial however you could easily add in some small pasta shapes and for the spice lovers out there it is great with a touch of dried chilli flakes added to it. Make a big pot, freeze some for later and enjoy the rest now – you won't be disappointed and you certainly won't feel like you are missing out on anything!

Serves 8

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2-3 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 courgettes (zucchini), chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
28oz tin of chopped tomatoes (or 2 x 400g tins)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt & pepper
2-3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese, finely grated to serve
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pan then add the onion, carrots and celery and saute for roughly 15 minutes until tender. Add the garlic, courgettes (zucchini) and peppers and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring everything well together. I tend to puree my chopped tomatoes (hubby doesn't like tomatoes!) but you can add them as they are if you prefer – either way works. Add the tomatoes – chopped or pureed – to the vegetables along with the tomato puree, cannellini beans, stock, sugar (if using) and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer and leave for 15 minutes until the vegetables are all tender.

Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of fresh parsley and the parmesan cheese. Delicious, hearty and super healthy!

*To make it more substantial add 140g/ 5oz of small pasta shapes of your choice for the last 6 - 8 minutes of cooking. You will also need to add an extra 250ml stock to the soup to make up for the amount the pasta will absorb.

**For an extra special finish, top the soup with a little pesto, ready to be swirled through.


  1. This soup is beautiful. I love veggie soup; it's one of my favorite comfort foods.

  2. perfection in a bowl and so wonderfully healthy... good for you!

  3. This looks really yummy, I have never heard of a courgette before, I will have to keep my eye out at the grocery store and find out what that is!

    1. Whoops! Sorry, meant to put both names on - nothing new or exotic I'm afraid, just a good old Zucchini!!! : )

  4. Thanks everyone! I can't stop eating it but I figured that can't be a bad thing! : )

  5. This looks great, I am a big fan of thicker soups. I can not wait to try this, our weather is supposed to cool back down. Thanks

  6. Wow this really looks hearty and delicious. Beautiful array of healthy colors.

  7. I am not usually a big soup gal but this looks enticing. I could eat up a batch with gusto.

  8. this is my favorite good and healthy,
    thankssss for your recipe...

  9. I love these types of soups to make for lunch. The best thing is that they last for a day or two and can be reheated.

  10. Mmmm, looks like sucha healthy, hearty, wonderfully comforting soup :) Beautiful!

  11. This soup looks delicious! Perfect for a dreary day like today!

  12. This looks similar to a soup I recently pulled from my freezer. I love soups like this with taste of summer in a soup so packed with veggies. :)

  13. This soup looks great, I will definitely be trying it, thank you


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