Green Veggies Minestrone

green veggies minestrone


I did some freezer rummaging the other day looking for the last couple of chocolate religieuses that I’d stashed away back in April because I wanted a quick pudding. Whilst I was rifling through and getting cold fingers, I noted that a) the freezer really badly needs defrosting and b) that I still had quite a lot of ham stock leftover from December. As it was unseasonably cold at the beginning of this week I thought I’d do the sensible thing and make soup. Defrosting the freezer will have to wait until we eat more food.

Every Christmas for the past 4/5 years I’ve cooked a large ham and saved the stock in 500ml portions for using throughout the year. This year I might even remember to take notes of what I actually chuck in the stock pot (an assortment of whole spices, leeks, carrots and parsnips last year I think) and blog about it. The benefit of having a well flavoured stock to use for a soup like this is that you don’t need to add any extra flavours. The hint of sweetness from the young vegetables complements the slightly smoky salty ham stock really well. You could of course use a good chicken stock or vegetable stock instead as I doubt many people will have any ham stock on the go this time of year.


green veggies minestrone


This green veggies minestrone uses frozen peas, frozen baby broad beans and a few good handfuls of kale with a good helping of orzo pasta. I saw a similar minestrone recipe in Good Food Magazine ages ago and couldn’t be bothered trying to work out which issue it was in or whether I even still owned the right copy as I had a bit of a clear out a while ago. So I just went ahead and made a soup with what was already in the kitchen. Subsequent Googling has revealed that this is the recipe I was thinking of from the June 2012 issue. I remember that I’d read a feature on broad beans that summer and at the time thought ‘why would you eat broad beans, they’re horrid’. This is because my Grandma, a great cook except when it comes to veggies, seemed to end up serving us these horrible grey things that weren’t very nice to eat.  Realising that broad beans could be double podded and actually taste nice was a revelation. The frozen baby broad beans that I used weren’t double podded but as they’re so small they’re still tender and don’t end up as horrible grey lumps unlike the larger beans Grandma used to cook from the garden.


Green Veggies Minestrone
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Quick, easy and healthy minestrone soup packed with green veg.
Serves: 4
  • 1.5 litres hot ham, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 150g frozen broad beans
  • 150g orzo pasta or broken spaghetti
  • 4 large handfuls chopped kale, tough stalks removed
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Heat the stock in a large saucepan over a high heat until it begins to boil. Add the peas and broad beans, stir and bring back to the boil. Next add the pasta, stir again and reduce the heat slightly and simmer rapidly for 5 minutes. Finally add the kale, stir well and cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Finish with black pepper and serve.
With a good tasty stock you don't really need to add any extra flavours but if you wanted to then you could grate over some parmesan before serving.


green veggies minestrone


For more minestrone soup ideas check out Dom’s kale, tenderstem and fennel summerstrone, Penny’s minestrone soup for the soul and Kate’s borlotti bean minestrone hotpot.

I’m linking up my green veggies minestrone with loads of blogging challenges. First up is Credit Crunch Munch which I’m guest hosting for Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All this month because this is cheap and quick to make. Next is Extra Veg run by Utterly Scrummy and Fuss Free Flavours (this month’s host), Pasta Please run by Tinned Tomatoes and this month hosted by BakingQueen74, Alphabakes run by Caroline Makes (this month’s host) and The More Than Occasional Baker where the chosen letter is O for orzo.


Credit-Crunch-Munch-Just-Pic Extra-Veg-Badge pasta please AlphaBakes Logo

  • sarah
    June 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

    This looks lovely Jen! Good way to use up frozen veg and healthy. Pinned. 🙂
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  • Sylvia @ Happiness is homemade
    June 5, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    That looks scrumptious! I’m a big fan of peas and broad beans so it’s perfect recipe for me 🙂
    Sylvia @ Happiness is homemade recently posted…Rhubarb & raspberry syrup (+ rhubarb fizz mocktail)My Profile

  • Camilla
    June 5, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Gorgeous healthy soup Jen and loving the the fabulous big photos too:-) Thanks for entering #CreditCrunchMunch:-)
    Camilla recently posted…Rhubarb & Strawberry JamMy Profile

  • Jacqueline Meldrum
    June 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Veggie stock for me and it looks great! Nice photo Jen.
    Jacqueline Meldrum recently posted…The Best Summer Pasta SaladMy Profile

  • Elizabeth
    June 6, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Oooh this sounds rather lovely! I was never a fan of frozen broad beans. TBH frozen ones put me off the idea of ever eating broad beans again until they started arriving in my veg box. Double podding makes all the difference! Bookmarked for when the new season beans start arriving!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Spring Break on the West Coast of ScotlandMy Profile

  • Kate @ Veggie Desserts
    June 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve been dreaming of this soup since I saw it on your Instagram feed! Looks great. And I’m with you on the Grandma tendency to cook veggies into oblivion 🙂
    Kate @ Veggie Desserts recently posted…Marinated Grilled Cucumbers with Garlic and Dill DipMy Profile

  • Jan @GlugofOil
    June 7, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Nice photos and lovely recipe – very healthy too!
    Jan @GlugofOil recently posted…At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen – Book GiveawayMy Profile

  • Brian Jones
    June 7, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Super, I have all this stuff growing in the garden so it will be a super ‘budget’ meal… Thanks 🙂
    Brian Jones recently posted…Easy Summer Pasta Carbonara with PeasMy Profile

  • Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai
    June 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    YUM’d! This looks delicious. A definite must try! Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We’d love to have you for a visit. The Door is OPEN. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai
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  • Claire @foodiequine
    June 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this recipe ever since you put a photo of it on Instagram. Love the sound of non tomato based minestrone. Definitely going to give it a try but I’ll replace the broad beans with soya beans and I absolutely love them.
    Claire @foodiequine recently posted…Persian Halloumi with the Toshiba Satellite Radius 11My Profile

  • Penelope
    June 9, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I had the same revelation with broad beans a couple of years back – Mum never believed in double podding either! A lovely soup recipe
    Penelope recently posted…Switching the Fish with Sainsburys – a dairy free Cornish hake fish pieMy Profile

  • Lucy @ BakingQueen74
    June 11, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    So good! All those delicious green veggies. Must try this out, bookmarked. Thanks for linking up with #PastaPlease

  • Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness
    June 14, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Love how green this is 🙂 I would love a bowl of this right about now!
    Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness recently posted…Jalapeno and Corn QuinoaMy Profile

  • Kate
    June 17, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    This looks delicious Jen – a big fan of orzo, kale and broad beans so this one is definitely on the “to make” list!! (Very belated thanks for the link to my Borlotti Bean Minestrone!)

  • Caroline
    June 26, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Looks good – a nice choice of letter O ingredient! Thanks for entering Alphabakes
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  • bakingaddict
    June 28, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I love orzo pasta and this looks like a healthy and delicious way to eat it. I recently did an inventory of what’s in the freezer which was very helpful but am finding it difficult to keep it up to date!
    bakingaddict recently posted…Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo PieMy Profile

  • Recipe: Sicilian Orzo with Cauliflower & Saffron - The Veg Space
    July 3, 2015 at 8:18 am

    […] Green Veggies Minestrone from Jen’s Food (make sure you use vegetable stock!) […]

  • Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours
    July 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I love this recipe! Anything that helps empty the freezer is a winner in my book!
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