Economical minestrone soup

This Nici Wickes minestrone soup is a favourite for making a hearty, nourishing meal for the whole family for next to nothing. Who knew economical could taste so good?

By Nici Wickes
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print


  • 2 tablespoon oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, chopped into rounds
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cubed
  • 1 broccoli stalk, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup silverbeet or spinach, chopped
  • 1 leek, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup kumara or pumpkin, diced
  • 8-10 cups water (fresh or frozen saved vegetable water is ideal)
  • 420 gram tin tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mixed dried beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • handful of macaroni elbows
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped parsley, to garnish
  • crusty bread rolls, to serve


  • 1
    Heat the oil in your largest pot and sauté all the chopped vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring to mix them up.
  • 2
    Add the water, tomatoes and drained beans. Gently bring to the boil and simmer until the beans are cooked through – about 1-1½ hours.
  • 3
    When the beans are tender, add the macaroni and continue cooking until the pasta is cooked. Season.
  • 4
    Serve with a sprinkling of parsley on top and crusty bread rolls. Enjoy!


  • You can substitute the dried beans with tinned cannellini, borlotti or kidney beans – just drain them well and add them with the pasta (Step 2). - Use any vegetables you like, such as swedes, potatoes, turnips or fresh beans.

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