Minestrone soup


After one month of (almost) daily feasts and non stop indulgence, I ended up with a food hangover of biblical proportions. For a couple of days, I’d rather fight my way through the ironing pile than opening a cook book…  Unless it was Dave Myers and Si King’s The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weigh, which promises  dishes low in calories and big on flavor.  Not small on portions, though…  Their 4 servings are the equivalent of 6 of my portions, and I normally don’t eat like a birdie.  But, all in all, it was exactly what I was looking for. A light soup to keep me going while fighting the hang over.

Minestrone soup (adapted from Dave Myers and Si King’s The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight)


  • 4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 medium courgettes diced
  • 1,5L of chicken stock
  • 50g dried spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 100 savoy cabbage thickly shredded
  • 25g of parmesan cheese finely grated
  • fresh basil leafs to garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste


First, peel the tomatoes. Prepare the iced iced water in advance (basically, water and ice).  Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Make a small X in the bottom of each tomato with the tip of a knife. Using a slotted spoon, lower them one a time, into the pot for 10-15seconds. Fish them out and tip them into ice water to cool for about 1 minute. Peel the tomatoes, starting from the X mark on the bottom and pulling back the curled skin. You can now chop  tomatoes into dices.

In a large non stick frying pan, heat the oil until it is piping hot and drop the onion. Lower the heat and sautée until is soft and translucent.

Add the celery, garlic, leek and courgettes and drop them into the pan with the onion. Still over a low heat for a couple of minutes, then stir in the chopped tomatoes, pour over the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Break the spaghetti into short lengths and drop them into the pan. Add the tomato purée and bring the soup back to the boil, then cook for 8minutes stirring occasionally. Add the peas, cabbage and cook for another 5 minutes or until the pasta is just tender.

Season the soup with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan and torn basil leaves if you want.

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