The Best Vegetable Soup

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I like using quinoa in this soup but you can of course use the traditional barley or other grains of choice.
Alphabet pasta is fun but not essential, you could also use orzo.


  • 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.