Chunky Minestrone with halloumi & pesto verde recipe

05 Aug 2019

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! This recipe is also egg free, yeast free and nut free.


Prep + cook time 1½ hours (+ standing) 

Serves 6

You will need to start this recipe a day ahead



½ cup (100g) dried red kidney beans

¼ cup (50g) buckwheat

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 baby leeks (250g), sliced thinly

150g (6½ ounces) pancetta, chopped

1 large carrot (180g), chopped

2 trimmed celery stalks (200g), chopped

1 small kumara (orange sweet potato) (250g), chopped

2 large zucchini (300g), chopped

2 medium parsnips (500g), chopped

800g (1½ pounds) canned chopped tomatoes

1 litre (4 cups) gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups (500ml) water

1 bay leaf

250g (8 ounces) halloumi, sliced thickly

Pesto verde

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

⅓ cup (65g) drained capers, chopped

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons lemon juice

⅓ cup (40g) finely grated parmesan

¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil


1.  Place beans and buckwheat in separate medium bowls, cover with cold water and let it stand overnight. Drain beans and buckwheat separately, rinse under cold water.

2.  Place beans in a medium saucepan of boiling water. Return to the boil simmer for 20 minutes or until beans are just tender. Drain.

3.  Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat cook leek and pancetta, stirring for 10 minutes or until leek is soft.

4. Add carrot and celery cook stirring for 5 minutes. Add kumara, zucchini, parsnip, tomatoes, stock, water and bay leaf bring to the boil.

5. Reduce heat to low cook covered for 30 minutes.

6.  Stir in buckwheat cook, covered for 15 minutes or until buckwheat is tender.

7. Add beans to soup cook, uncovered for 5 minutes or until hot. Season to taste.

8.  Meanwhile, make pesto verde.

9.  Heat remaining oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat cook haloumi, in batches until browned on both sides.

10.  Serve soup topped with haloumi and pesto verde.

Pesto verde: Blend or process ingredients until well combined. Season to taste.


Soup can be made up to 3 days ahead keep covered in the refrigerator. Soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Pesto verde can be made a day ahead keep tightly covered in the fridge or it can be frozen in a small container for up to 3 months.


Nutritional count per serving 

35.7g total fat

11.2g saturated fat

2541kJ (608 cal)

30.3g carbohydrate

34.5g protein

12.4g fibre

Recipe by Australian Women's Weekly Gluten-Free: The Complete Collection