A Cup-of-Garden Soup

Here’s a wonderful colorful soup that is filling, nutritious, and delicious at the same time. One thing I particularly like about this recipe is that it is generously open to improvisation. Don’t have kale? Use spinach or whatever leafy green you fancy. Don’t have canned chickpeas? Use peas or beans you have on hand. Want to deepen the flavors? Use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, or combine the two for a varied taste. Enjoy!

Cup-of-Garden Soup

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Serves 8 to 10

Note that the original recipe calls for strips of bacon to be fried in olive oil, but I skipped that part. I also used canned northern beans instead of chickpeas, but do as you wish.


2 tablespoon olive oil
1  clove  garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1  medium  red onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
2  carrots, washed and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1    zucchini, finely chopped
1  small  leek, washed and finely chopped
1/2  teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1    bay leaf
Two  14-ounce (400 g) cans  chopped plum tomatoes
1  medium  potato, scrubbed and diced
1  cup  cauliflower florets
One 14-ounce (400 g) can  northern beans, drained
4  cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth, preferably organic
Large handful curly kale, stalks removed, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2  cup broken spaghetti
Small bunch of fresh basil (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
5  tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the chopped garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, leek, if using, oregano, and bay leaf. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.

Add the cans of tomatoes, the chopped potato, cauliflower, drained beans, and vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and cooked through (check by sticking one with a small knife).

Add 2 cups of water to the pan and return to boil. Once boiling, add kale and pasta and cook for 10 minutes more, or until the pasta is tender. If soup is too thick, thin it out with a little more broth or water.

If using the basil, tear the larger leaves into the soup and reserve the baby leaves for garnish. Season with a little pinch of salt and black pepper. Taste to check the flavors. Remove bay leaf and discard. Divide soup between serving bowls and sprinkle with the reserved basil leaves. Serve the Parmesan in a small bowl alongside to sprinkle over servings.


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  1. Hi Feride! This soup looks so nice. I got a cold and anything soupy seems good, but your soup is even better. I don’t have all the ingredients ready (and I won’t go out for shopping) but I’ll use whatever I have in my pantry to cook this one. Adding pasta sounds nice – I never did that. Thanks for posting it today! Perfect timing….

  2. It looks fantastic!



  3. This is not simply a soup, this is a big meal itself alone!

  4. seriously HUNGRY!!! I can smell it !! ><

  5. Oh, I’ll have some.
    I’ve heard of cup-of-garden soup before, but there’s nothing like a wonderful photo to start a craving!

  6. That is one beautiful soup!

  7. Wonderful recipe — perfect for long hot days, and we are swinging into these!

  8. Very invigorating as well as delectable soup. Thanks for sharing.

  9. this soup is very nice.

  10. dont delicious!

  11. Going to serve this beautiful soup for iftar on Friday 🙂

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