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Health and wellbeing

Mighty Minestrone Soup

Minestrone is a nutrient packed classic Italian soup made with beans, veg, and pasta. Making a soup is a great way to revive fresh veg that might be starting to look a bit tired! And this can be frozen too.

These recipes are designed for you to cook together as a family. The best bits for children to help with are shown in blue, and little hands can always help with measuring ingredients and washing up!

Serves: 4
Approximate cost per adult serving: 52p
Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
  • ¼ head of savoy cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 veg or chicken stock cubes (low salt preferable)
  • 400g tin cannellini beans (butter beans also work well)
  • 100g pasta broken into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Wash the vegetables and prepare – peel the onion and garlic, and chop the onion, carrots, garlic, and cabbage.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 10 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add in the tomato puree and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Make 1.2L of stock (about 5 mugs) with 2 stock cubes and hot water. Add the tinned tomatoes and the stock to the vegetables, cover with a lid if you have one and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat so it is simmering and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the beans and the pasta pieces and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the pasta is cooked. Add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes. If the soup is too thick you can add some hot water to loosen. Season to taste but remember to remove a small portion for young children beforehand.


  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring jug

Modify Me

  • If preparing for little ones and using larger beans such as butter beans, make sure these are sliced and vegetables are cut into small pieces. It is also a good idea to choose low salt stock cubes if you can.
  • You can use whatever vegetables and pasta you have available.

Foodie Fact

Legumes such as beans and lentils are an excellent source of fibre, which we need to keep our digestion healthy. Adults should aim for 30g per day, 11–16 year-olds 25g per day, 5–11 year-olds about 20g per day, and 2-5 year olds about 15g per day.

This recipe has been adapted from BBC Food


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