Perfect on a cold winter’s night with warm crusty bread straight from the oven. We’ve made this dish from scratch but feel free to use leftover meatballs from a previous meal and add your favourite veggies. That’s what we mean when we say it has ‘everything in it’.
15 mins
1 hour


200g Rocket Angus beef mince

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 slices of bacon, roughly chopped

2 carrots, roughly chopped

2 celery stalks, finely sliced

2 courgettes, roughly chopped

100g green beans

400g chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

4 cups chicken stock

400g can cannellini beans, drained

400g can red kidney beans

1 cup small pasta shapes

1 tsp dried basil


  1. In a large saucepan, gently fry onion and garlic over a low heat until transparent.
  2. Add bacon and fry until crisp.
  3. Throw in carrots, celery, courgettes, green beans and frankly any other veggies you have on hand.
  4. Make sure, however, that they are cut to the same size so that they cook evenly. If some vegetables are denser than others, dice them a little smaller.
  5. Cook vegetables over a medium heat until carrots start to soften and brown a little.
  6. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
  7. Add cannellinni beans, half the can of kidney beans and pasta and simmer gently for at least 20 minutes or until the pasta has softened.
  8. While soup is simmering, make tiny meatballs.
  9. Mix beef mince with dried basil, a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  10. Form a meatball from a heaped teaspoon of minced beef.
  11. Repeat until all mince mixture is used.
  12. Fry meatballs in a little olive oil until lightly browned all over.
  13. Make sure they are small, otherwise they’ll break apart in the soup, though that’s not a complete disaster!
  14. When pasta is softened, add meatballs, spinach and basil and stir through.
  15. Simmer for another 5 minutes then, if wished, serve with a swirl of pesto on top or a dusting of Parmesan, or both.

Recipe courtesy of recipes.co.nz and Sue Hamilton and Dana Alexander. It was originally published here and is republished with permission.