We're listening to you students - here is a heart-warming minestrone soup to help keep you warm on these cold, wet days! You can add any veg you have in your fridge and broken spaghetti works just as well as soup pasta.
  • small, sharp knife
  • chopping board
  • wooden spoon
  • saucepan
  • 1 leek or onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin cannelini beans
  • 100g broken spaghetti or pasta for soup
  • 150g frozen peas or green beans (trimmed)
  • 1 vegetable stock melt
  • a little pesto for each bowl of soup - vegan options are available
  • fresh chopped herbs (optional)
  • Italian hard cheese e.g. Parmesan or vegan cheese


Cut the ends off the leek and then using the claw cutting technique cut the leek into thin circles.


Push the garlic clove with the back of the wooden spoon and then peel off the skin. Bash the garlic clove again to crush into a pulp. Put the leek and oil into a pan and soften gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.


Add the tinned tomatoes, then fill the tomato can with water and add this to the pan. Fill the can again and add this to the pan too with the vegetable stock melt. Turn the heat up until it is bubbling, lower the heat so that it is gently bubbling and cook for 20 minutes.


Add the beans, pasta and peas, turn the heat up and when the soup is bubbling, turn the heat down and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. Carefully ladle into bowls, top with a little pesto and grated cheese.