Italian-Style Tomato, Bean & Vegetable Soup

3 June 2011

Our house-made soups at the Wakefield St store (now also Kilbirnie, Lower Hutt & Johnsonville) are a staple for many Wellington folk, warming the cockles of browsing shoppers and busy CBD workers alike.  The soups change daily but are always organic, vegetarian, and gluten free.  

The recipe for our Italian-Style Tomato, Bean & Vegetable Soup was requested via the Dominion Post's 'Cafe Secrets' column and we were happy to oblige! 


italian soup


Italian-Style Tomato, Bean & Vegetable Soup



  • 700g dried white, kidney or borlotti beans - soaked overnight
  • 2-3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Cinnamon (to taste)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped into small cubes
  • 1/3 of a large cabbage, finely sliced (you can use the equivalent in silverbeet or cavolo nero)
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 250ml tomato juice
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Olive oil - generous amount to saute with
  • Red wine vinegar - generous splash
  • Salt  to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Honey or sugar to taste
  • Fresh basil and/or parsley



  • Wash the soaked beans until the water runs clear.  Transfer to a medium-sized pot, cover well with water, and bring to the boil.  Turn heat down and simmer for about an hour, or until cooked.  Make sure you stir the mixture occasionally and top up with water if necessary so it doesn't stick to the bottom.
  • Meanwhile, in a pot saute the onions, garlic and carrot in olive oil until soft, stirring often.
  • Add cinnamon to the veges.  You may want to add a dash of water to prevent burning.  Splash in the red wine vinegar and cook until it smells slightly sweet.
  • Add the tomato, dried herbs and water, filling it to approximately halfway to allow room for the cooked beans and bean water later. Bring to the boil, then turn heat down and simmer.
  • When the beans are cooked, add to the onion and tomato mixture.  Top up with extra water if you like your soup thinner.  
  • Season with salt, pepper and honey to taste.  
  • Throw in as many handfuls of chopped fresh herbs as you like (or the budget allows) before serving.


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