This hearty, chunky soup is packed with an array of nutrient-rich vegetables – perfect for when you crave comforting, warming foods. For additional protein try adding a little ham or cooked bacon or smoked tofu.  You can find this recipe plus many others in my book Eat Yourself Pregnant. This is a fabulous recipe for children too – they love the texture of the soup and a great way to get them to eat an array of vegetables.


Chunky Minestrone Soup


Difficulty – Easy

Time – 30 minutes cooking

Serves – 4

What’s good about it?

Adding cooked beans is a great way to increase the protein and soluble fibre in your soups. Try and select canned beans in water only rather than with added salt and sugar. This is also an easy way to cram in more vegetables and perfect for using up left over cooked veg from the day before.  For a dairy free option simply omit the Parmesan cheese.

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and sauté the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, leeks and potato for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in the parsley and serve the soup hot, sprinkled with Parmesan, if you like, and a drizzle of olive oil.



Did you Know?

Cannellini beans, particularly popular in Italian cuisine, are large white beans with a firm texture and nutty flavour.Some of the health benefits of cannellini beans are linked to their high molybdenum content.  This is a trace mineral that supports detoxification enzymes making it vital for healthy detox and cleansing. As well as adding them to soups they are delicious mashed with vegetables or made into a creamy dip.  Try them in our Sweet Moroccan Butterbean Dip


2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve

1 red onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 celery sticks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 leeks, sliced

1 small potato or sweet potato, peeled and diced

400g/14oz/scant 1⅔ cups tinned chopped tomatoes

600ml/21fl oz/scant 2½ cups chicken or vegetable stock

½ Savoy cabbage, shredded, or

a bunch of Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped

410g/14½oz tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves

sea salt and ground black pepper

2 tbsp grated Parmesan, to serve (optional)