Here is a brilliantly healthy minestrone soup from my Auntie, Loulla Astin, chef and restaurateur of award winning taverna in Manchester, Kosmos, which I love. I make mine vegan.

Minestrone soup is packed full of veggies and will keep you feeling full for hours. It’s perfect for all the family.

Minestrone Soup


minestrone soup

Minestrone soup recipe:


2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 stick celery, diced
1 large courgette, diced
1 large potato, diced
100g (4oz) green beans, Sliced
100g (4oz) green cabbage, shredded
1x 200g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1.5 lit (2.1/2 pint) vegetable (vegan) or chicken stock made with 2 stock cubes (I opt for vegan)
50g (2oz) garden peas
1 x 300g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper and salt
Chopped parsley
Grated parmesan (I omit)


Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. Add garlic, carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the rest of the vegetables apart from the peas and cannellini beans. Mix in the tomatoes and tomato puree cook for few minutes then add the hot stock, season and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, then add the cannellini beans and garden peas and cook for 10 minutes more. If the soup is thick, add more stock to thin it out, taste and adjust seasoning then sprinkle over some chopped parsley. Delicious.

Let me know if you try the soup.

Do also join Loulla’s private Facebook Group which has thousands of members: Loulla’s Recipe Share.


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20 Responses

  1. patty

    How many times a day are you supposed to eat the soup and how much of it?

  2. bingo wings funny

    Healthy eating and fitness go together, yet there are no magic meals that create you to be one hundred percent healthy by merely consuming the one food, no, you need an assortment of foods.

  3. The Lady Thing Delicious Italian Recipes - The Lady Thing

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  4. Zoe Alexander

    What a hot mummy! Very well done! It’s not easy to lose the post pregnancy weight especially looking after the little ones. What helped me was the Insanity program, I toned up so much & it gave me a lot of energy! Good luck & keep us posted Vicki!
    Adriana xxx

    • honestmum

      @Adriana (Zoe Alexander) thank you lovely, still a long way to go. Wow I’ve seen the infommercial for the Insanity program-well done you! Have you got the Insanity abs? Impressed! x

  5. I Am Into This

    You look so so beautiful, and well done you for finding something that works for you! That’s how I felt about four hour body – and I also see it as a lifestyle now, I hate the word “diet”! Like you, I don’t weigh myself (honestly have no idea how much I weigh!) – if you feel good and want to get that sexy booty shaking, then HUZZAH!

    Love that recipe too! X

    • honestmum

      @IAmintothis thank you sweetie, you are too kind to me! I agree, so sad how morphed the word diet has become! Here’s to booty shaking confidence x

  6. Louise at Yummy Mummy? Really?

    I am so impressed by your will power. I have a deep ingrained distrust of dieting in any formal form. I have the psychology of “wanting something more if officially denied it”! Much as I really need to cut down on calories, as I am obviously taking in more than I am burning off at the moment, I just can’t do it n a formal diet. I have to decide, at each moment of slight hunger, whether I will act on it or not, and whether I will choose an apple of a twix. Unfortunately, the twix usually wins!

    Well done for sticking to this. It sounds like it is really working for you, which is brilliant, and I am a little bit jealous!

    Good luck. 🙂

    • honestmum

      @Louise thank you and yes I’m the same but this way of eating has changed my view on food and also what is so great is for the rest of the week, you can eat as you like. It’s honestly pretty easy so no need to be impressed x

  7. Emma

    Hello, are you breast feeding? My boy is 5months now and I really want to lose the baby weight I’ve put on over the last 2 babies in 2 years! But, not sure if I could manage this diet whilst breast feeding?

    • honestmum

      @Emma no I’m no longer breastfeeding and had stopped prior to starting the diet. I don’t think it is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. I know there is no way I could have done it, breastfeeding, you need food and energy to create milk.

  8. Sharcasm

    I really have to start looking into this diet, cause you look AMAZING girlfriend 😉 I read about it before on your blog and was already intrigued, but i’m definitely going to read up on it and try it. Also the recipe sounds great, delish. x

    • honestmum

      @Sharcasm thank you, I’m finding it really easy (didn’t even feel hungry on my last fast day) and you have to try the soup recipe x

  9. Marilynn

    I just started doing the 5:2 last week. I have a fair bit of weight to lose as I was fairly complacent after the birth of my child and after an initial weight loss ended up putting more weight back on! So here I am ready to change! I have decided to do it quite strictly as I have so much to lose so I have 2 strict fast days (mon and wed) and give myself the option of doing a 3rd fast on Fridays just in case I happen to be a bit too naughty over the weekend. I am a bit more relaxed about the cal intake for the Friday fast having about 600-700. So far so good! I don’t use scales as weights tend to demotivate me but go by clothes fit. I have to say I had quite a bloated tummy prior to starting 5:2 which has shrunk significantly. My clothes are definitely showing the difference which is great. Sorry for the rambling comment, but I am feeling really positive and hopeful and just wanted to share! Hope you continue to see the inches drop!



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