“No recipe” vegetable and bean soup with pasta

October 21, 2016 Published by Dina

Once you understand how to construct a soup you hardly need a recipe. This is especially so in a simple and hearty soup such as this one, full of vegetables, beans and pasta and believe me, nothing could be simpler.

I start with a heavy soup pot, my favourite is an enamelled cast iron pot such as Le Creuset, put in a little olive oil, heat it up and then begin adding the ingredients I have on hand. I start with the aromatics: onion, garlic, then add the base vegetables such as carrots and celery, then perhaps other vegetables like shredded cabbage and red pepper. Once the vegetables have been cooked in the oil for a few minutes I add tomatoes, fresh or canned, the cooked beans (fresh or canned) and stock or water and bring to a  boil. When the soup is boiling I lower the heat and let it simmer quietly for 30 minutes. Vegetable soups do not benefit from long simmer like soups that have meat in them.

For flavouring I add salt and pepper and a small handful of herbs from the garden, fresh or dried.

When the soup is cooked through I add a handful of pasta, turn off the heat and cover. I let the pasta cook in the hot liquid.

I keep this soup in glass mason jars in the fridge and if needed, add water or stock when I reheat it later.

For serving I often have a pistou or parsley pesto of one kind or another in the fridge so I spoon it over and stir it into the soup in the bowl.

Here is an approximate recipe, but the idea is to use what you have in your fridge.


2-3 tablespoons olive oil

About 4 cups of vegetables. Choose from: Onion, garlic, carrots, celery, pepper, green cabbage, fennel, zucchini etc.

2 cups beans, freshly cooked or canned. Try a mixture of beans if you have them.

1 small can tomatoes, chopped

8 cups vegetable or other stock

A generous handful of herbs, fresh or dried (thyme, oregano, basil etc.)

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup pasta small shells or another pasta shape


Heat up the oil an a soup pot.

Add onion and cook until translucent but not browned.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add remaining vegetables and cook until softened.

Add the beans, tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil.

Add herbs.

Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the pasta, cover and turn off the heat.

The soup is ready when the pasta is cooked, about 5-190 minutes.

Serve with parsley pesto.

Vegetable soup





Lentil soup with spinach and barley

Lentil soup with spinach and barley




  • Jaelene Mannerfeldt says:

    Hello Dina,
    I love the simplicity of your recipes and how you make food accessible to everyone. You encourage experimentation and discovery.
    Thank you for sharing your gifts.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Jaelene, so nice to hear from you on the blog and thank you for the lovely comment. You have always been an inspiration to me and I am glad to know that I am giving something back. I still have fun in the kitchen and happy to share what I do. I hope our path will cross again soon.