Five-a-Day Soup, Three Ways

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    very generous portions

Appears in

Good Food For Bad Days

Good Food For Bad Days

By Jack Monroe

Published 2020

  • About

Whenever I make soup in my household I end up making it three different ways. Mrs J likes hers left completely unblended and chunky, a broth with beans and vegetables in. Small Boy has his pureed to smooth, and usually as a pasta sauce baked beneath a pile of cheese. I like mine somewhere between the two; a thick blended base with a smattering of veg and beans in it for interest and texture. This recipe provides a full slate of five of your 5 a day if you eat half of the quantity given here, which is admittedly a generous bowlful, but it does a lot of good for very little effort. If energy levels are low or time is on the short side, swap the carrots for a can of sliced or baby carrots, the onion for frozen diced onion and the garlic for garlic paste, to make it faster and simpler, but just as nutritious.


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 decent-sized carrots
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic, or 6 smaller ones
  • 1 large courgette, or 2 smaller ones
  • 1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans, or haricot or pinto beans
  • 1 x 400 g tin or carton of chopped tomatoes
  • 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • black pepper, to taste


First, peel and slice the onion and toss into a large saucepan. Roughly chop your carrots and add those too. Peel your garlic cloves and quarter them lengthways. Dice the courgette and add to the pan. Drain and thoroughly rinse the beans and tip over the top, then pour over the tomatoes and stock.

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Measure in the herbs and cover the pan with a lid, or some foil or a larger pan if you don’t have a lid. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the veg is very soft. Season to taste with black pepper.

If you like, you can serve it chunky, like a casserole or stew, or you can remove half and pulse it to smooth in a bullet blender, then return it to the pan and combine it with the remaining veg and broth. Or, for a completely smooth soup that can be repurposed as a pasta sauce, blend the whole lot, probably in batches, and warm back through to serve.

Keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 days or the freezer for 3 months.