One-pot homemade minestrone soup for the weeknight!

One-pot homemade minestrone soup for the weeknight!

Easy to make, balanced meal that is delicious with toast or kubz

Minestrone Soup
This is a Minestrone Soup recipe without pasta added in. Picture used for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

It's a Monday and the emails are just piling up. I can almost feel their physical presence in my in-box. I think it's the same for most of us. Playing catch-up!

In the midst of this drops a quick reminder - what's for dinner tonight? You could take the easy way out and order in. But, as it is the start of the week, I would like to make a small bit of effort to eat healthy and that does not mean food that isn't tasty. Is that a tall order? Definitely not. So here's a one-pot soup recipe that takes an hour but the good thing about it - you can leave it alone, while you unwind and wait for it to arrive at its absolute simmery, delicious best.

You literally can add whatever is in your refridgerator - the trick is harmony. Have some root vegetables for the starchy satisfying robustness, something sharp like tomato, sweet like pumkin and zesty like celery. Herbs, keep it simple - parsley, spring onions and garlic. Even a pinch of zaatar or sumac works. Not too much.

I absolutely love the bite of zaatar and the tanginess of sumac - two herb and spice mixes that are a Levantine staple.

You would have guessed by now, I am heading towards a hearty minestrone soup - the kind that any Italian kitchen would be proud of. It is adapted, tested and tweaked to achieve a layering of flavours aimed at spreading comfort food level of joy.

Invest in a good stockpot to make soups and stews Image Credit: Shutterstock

Homemade Minestrone Soup

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 5 to 6


200 gms canned white beans, cooked (you can subsitute with kidney beans, fava beans, lima beans or chickpeas - equal ratio)

2 sticks of celery sliced at quarter inch thickness

1 carrot, cubed

1 leek, sliced (you can substitute with 2 to 3 spring onions)

1/2 brown onion, minced (if you use read, will be sharper)

5 garlic cloves, minced fine (you can pound it, too)

Secret ingredient: 30 to 50 gms of mild cheddar cheese, cubed (you can always go for Parmesan, Emmental or Monterey Jack)

1 l warm water

1/2 zucchini or 1 marrow cubed

400 gms cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup pumpkin, cubed

1 large potato or 2 medium-sized potatoes, cubed

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp rosemary, dried

1 bay leaf torn

3 tbsp, minced fresh, English parsley 

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste (optional)

Note: I don't add pasta, but the traditional recipe would call for about a cup of cooked pasta such as conchiglie, farfalle, orzo or macaroni


Take a large stockpot. Warm it well. Add the olive oil and the minced garlic. As it sizzles, add the onions. Mix well until it wilts a bit.

Add all the chopped vegetables and herbs, except the parsley. Mix well, so everything is coated. Add the water, then the cheese. Add salt and pepper as per your liking.

Give it a good mix. Let there be a bit of a boil. Now add the parsley and the beans. Lower the flame, so that the mix is simmering. Cover and leave it to cook for at least 45 minutes. Do stir occassionally, to prevent the vegetables from settling at the bottom.

If you want a stronger hint of tomato, you can add a tablespoon of tomato paste. It is based on personal preference.

Once you shut off the flame, let the stockpot with the soup sit covered for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast some bread or kubz (Arabic pita bread) to have with the soup. Your no-fuss weeknight meal is ready and easily delivers 5 hearty servings.

In fact, the soup tastes better the next day, as it stays longer. Serve with some grated cheese and basil on top. 

Let me know if you like the recipe on and if you try it, don't forget to tag us on Instagram @gulfnews.

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