Roasted Vegetable Soup

I first wrote about his soup when I was travelling through France and it is still a family favourite now. I have to spoken to Kelly Higgins-Devine on 612ABC Radio about how easy soups are to prepare and how the roasted vegetables give it that extra delicious taste.

We are half way through our trip now. The thought of it ending fills me with trepidation. I love being here. Paris makes my heart sing.

I have enjoyed the short trips to other places but when we return to our little apartment in St Germain, I am happiest. Even though my apartment in Brisbane has a modern kitchen with many more gadgets, not once have I missed them. It is strange how you want things and then later realise they haven’t really made the impact on your life you thought they would.

The markets are one of the things about Paris that bring me great joy. I know we have markets in Brisbane and they are great, but here there is one within walking distance of most places.  I have bought a “chariot-course”  to carry my purchases. Everyone has one here so you don’t have to be concerned about your image. The weather here means that you can walk there, take your time purchasing anything your heart desires and on the way back I stop with the husba and have a coffee. This is another of my real joys in Paris. No not the coffee, it is pretty terrible most the time, it is people watching while I sit at cafés. I have included some of the wonderful things I have photographed while sitting at the café.




So this week it has turned cooler in Paris some days it is even cold. We have come home after buying way too much at the markets and I have thought, now what am I going to do with all of this.  The answer, a Roasted Vegetable Soup. Easy to make, full of goodness and delicious.

Roasted Vegetable Soup


Any vegetables you have on hand. I used potatoes, leeks, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes,carrot and sweet potato.

About 4 cups makes enough soup for five.

4 tablespoons of olive oil

dried herbs of your choice, I used parsley and oregano

Salt and Pepper

1 litre of Vegetable Stock

A nice fresh loaf of bread.


Cut and peel all the vegetables and garlic into similar size pieces and place in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and herbs, salt and pepper. Toss well. Place in an oven on 175 degrees and allow to roast until tender and golden.

Take all the vegetables out of oven and place in a large saucepan. Simmer on a low heat with vegetable stock. When vegetables are really soft mash with a potato masher. If you prefer your soup smooth you can blend it. I don’t have any gadgets like that at the moment.

Serve with a drizzle of oil and a crusty loaf of bread.


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There is nothing like a hearty soup on a chilly winter’s evening. Some soups are more like a meal and that is certainly the case with this Minestrone.

I serve it up for dinner with a big loaf of warm bread and sometimes a salad afterwards and that is dinner for everyone. When the children were at school I used to fill their thermoses with the left overs and they would have it for lunch the next day. The other children would crowd around and ask for some, in the end I sent enough for several kids.

This soup is Italian in origin and doesn’t have a fixed recipe. The word “minestrone”, comes from the italian word minestra, “soup,” or more literally, “that which is served,” from minestrare, “to serve.”

There is no set recipe for Minestrone as it’s made from what’s in season and differs from region to region.  I change my recipe according to what I have bought at the markets but I always include Borlotti beans. These are available in cans in supermarkets or in winter you can buy them fresh. Fresh borlotti are a real treat and I am often seen haggling with green grocers for a better price if I buy five kilos.

I hope you enjoy my recipe.



4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 onions chopped

3 garlic cloves diced

1/2  Savoy Cabbage Chopped finely

4 carrots diced

2 zucchini chopped

1 Bottle of Tomato Passata

2 cans of borlotti beans

1/2 cup of chopped parsely

1/2 celery chopped into small pieces

2 potatoes diced.

1 litre of good quality vegetable stock


salt and pepper

Italian herbs such as oregano and basil

Parmesan cheese and olive oil to garnish


In a large saucepan pour olive oil. Place over a low heat and sauté onion and garlic until soft and onions are see-through.

Then add cabbage and carrots and other vegetables and continue cooking. Pour stock over the vegetables then and add 1/2 litre of water.  Add the bottle of tomato passata.

Leave to simmer for a half hour.  Later  add borlotti beans, and parsley. Leave to simmer for as long as you like but at least an hour..

When serving ladle into shallow soup bowl and grate fresh parmesan cheese over the soup and drizzle with a good olive oil.

You can add some pasta if you want. On this occassion I added some spaghetti.


These are the fresh Borlotti beans that you could use instead of the canned variety.


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Ribollita Soup


I am in Sydney at the moment. I love Sydney. I lived here when I went to high school and then university. Some of the most wonderful years. Now when I visit I still feel at home here. Even though many things have changed so many places still have such great memories.


It is a great time of year to enjoy soup for dinner. The winters here are cold and by the time you return home from work it is dark. Soups are so wholesome and full of vegetables and one of my favourite soups is Ribolllita.


Ribollita means reboiled. Traditionally, Ribollita is a bread-thickened vegetable soup and there are many variations. I prefer the soup to have Kale or Cavolo Nero as an ingredient.

Servings: 8


  • 2 cans of cannelini beans
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 4 zucchini, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups swiss chard shredded
  • 1 leek
  • 1 savoy cabbage shredded
  • 1 bunch kale, shredded
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 days old stale Tuscan white bread


  1. In a pan, gently fry the onion. Add the other vegetables, with the exception of the cabbage, kale and beans which are added at a later point. When the vegetables have sweated out their juice, cover with chicken stock and water and then add all the cabbage and kale. Cover and simmer for an hour over medium heat.
  2. Add the cans of beans (some of them whole and some puréed), salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring frequently because the beans tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the can of diced tomatoes.
  3. Slice the stale bread and alternate layers of bread with the soup until the bread is soaked.
  4. To serve ladel into bowls and grate parmesan cheese on top and drizzle good olive oil.

Buon appetit!



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