Italian country soup

This soup is based on a Bridgette Hafner recipe which I have added more veggies to.  I usually double the recipe as it freezes well and is great for tired children.  If you are vegetarian you could omit the pancetta. Cannellini beans are a great source of protein and fibre.  If you are a fan of having a "meat free Monday" this is a great recipe to make.  The original recipe used dried beans which were soaked overnight and added earlier in the recipe - I have tried it both ways and we like the tinned beans more.



Serves 6


  • 2 leeks, washed and sliced

  • 100g flat pancetta, thinly sliced (optional)

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 zucchini, diced

  • 2 sticks celery, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small potato, peeled and chopped into small dice

  • Sprinkle of dried oregano

  • 2 tins of cannellini beans

  • Splash of white wine

  • 2 tins Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 3 cups water or chicken stock

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • Small handful of risoni (dried pasta shaped like rice) or small pasta shapes or broken fettuccine

  • Two or three generous handfuls of baby spinach or kale

  • Parmesan cheese, grated

  • extra virgin olive oil, to serve


  1. In a heavy-based pot, gently cook the leeks, carrot, zucchini, celery, pancetta and garlic in the olive oil until softened and lightly golden. Add the potato and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the oregano, white wine, tomatoes and water or stock, season with salt and pepper and add rosemary.

  2. Bring to the boil, skim the surface and simmer for 40-50 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the drained and rinsed breans, risoni and, if the soup has become a little thick, more water. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the baby spinach or kale.

  3. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

Calories:286  Fat:7g Carbs:41g Fibre:8g Protein:13g

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