The Best Vegetable Soup

I like using quinoa in this soup but you can of course use the traditional barley or other grains of choice.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, flinely sliced
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 courgettes, grated
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1.5 litres beef stock
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup alphabet pasta
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley


Heat oil in a large saucepan and gently cook onion, celery, carrot and courgette for 10-15 minutes until tender.
Add tomato paste and stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 45 minutes.
Add quinoa and cook a further 15 minutes before adding alphabet pasta and then simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Stir through the pesto and parsley and simmer for 2 minutes further.
* The flavour of the soup will depend very much on the quality of your stock.  If the soup seems watery and lacking in flavour then I would suggest adding 1 beef stock cube.

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7 thoughts on “The Best Vegetable Soup

  1. I love the idea of alphabet soup, but as I’ve never seen it for sale (and don’t have a Bin Inn near me) I usually use orzo instead. Not as much fun but does the same job.

  2. Delicious. I used a very small pasta shape from Nosh rather than alphabet. I added chopped fresh basil rather than pesto. I cooked it without a lid and it ended up very thick (which doesn’t bother me at all – but it was thick enough to eat with a fork!). So next time I’ll simmer with lid on to keep the liquid in, or else add a bit more liquid if it needs it.

  3. Hi Zeetra,
    I buy my alphabet pasta from Bin Inn – they have it in their bulk bins. It is plain pasta – as in no flavourings or anything extra in it. The kids love it as they search for letter for their names etc… I buy a large bag at a time and just add a cup full here and there as I need it.