Chunky minestrone with haloumi

You will need to start this recipe a day ahead.

  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
  • Print
Keep those pesky colds at bay with a deliciously warming chunky minestrone soup with halloumi and pesto verde - perfect for freezing or lunches on the go!
Looking for more vegetable soup recipes?


  • ⅔ cup (130g) dried red kidney beans
  • ⅓ cup (65g) buckwheat
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 leek (350g), white part only, sliced thinly
  • 200 grams pancetta, chopped coarsely
  • 1 large carrot (180g), chopped coarsely
  • 2 trimmed celery stalks (200g), chopped coarsely
  • 2 medium parsnips (500g), chopped finely
  • 1 orange sweet potato (400g), chopped coarsely
  • 2 large zucchini (300g), diced
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 1.25 litre (5 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 grams haloumi, sliced thickly


  • 1
    Place beans and buckwheat in separate medium bowls with enough cold water in each to cover. Stand overnight. Drain beans and buckwheat separately; rinse under cold water.
  • 2
    Place beans in a saucepan of boiling water; return to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; simmer for 10 minutes or until beans are just tender. Drain.
  • 3
    Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat; cook leek and pancetta, stirring, for 10 minutes or until leek is softened. Add carrot and celery; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add parsnip, sweet potato, zucchini, tomatoes, stock, 2½ cups (625ml) water and bay leaf; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • 4
    Stir in buckwheat; cook, covered, for a further 15 minutes or until buckwheat is tender. Remove lid, add beans to soup; cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes or until warmed through. Season to taste.
  • 5
    Heat remaining oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat; cook haloumi, in batches, until browned on both sides.
  • 6
    Serve half the minestrone topped with haloumi. Transfer remaining minestrone to an airtight container; cool, then store.


This amount of haloumi is enough for the served portion of minestrone. Cook the same amount again when you reheat the stored portion.Serve topped with classic pesto or broccoli pesto, or salsa verde, if you prefer.Refrigerate minestrone for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge, then reheat in a microwave.

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