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Minestrone Soup

August 20, 2013

Minestrone Soup

Vary the vegetables in this nutritious and flavourful soup according to what is in season or what you have on hand. In summer, green beans, courgettes, yellow squash and fresh corn are light, colourful substitutions.

Serves 8


  • 120g Organic Semi Whole Wheat or Spelt Penne
  • 472g dried cannellini, pinto or kidney beans
  • 5 pints water
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf, broken into 2-3 pieces
  • 79ml pasta sauce
  • 1 tbsp Clearspring Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 1/6 head cabbage, sliced crosswise into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped marjoram or oregano, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Black pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 tsp Clearspring Traditional Sea Salt


  1. Wash beans, cover with fresh water, and leave to soak for 8-12 hours. Drain, and combine with the water and 1 clove of the garlic in a large pot. Bring to the
    boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, until beans are just tender (about 2 hours).
  2. When tender, add salt, bay leaf, and pasta sauce and continue simmering.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté remaining garlic and onion in olive oil over a low heat. Add carrots, celery, cabbage, and salt, and sauté briefly. Add water to cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add vegetables to beans and cook together 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add pasta and simmer until pasta is ‘al dente', stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed to prevent pasta from sticking.
  6. Add the herbs for the last minute or two of cooking. Add more salt or soy sauce to taste, if needed. Serve hot.


John & Jan BellemeJohn & Jan Belleme

John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.

For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.

In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.

Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.

John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.

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