Eat on the Cheap Recipe: Not Quite Minestrone Soup


The beauty of minestrone soup is that there’s no set recipe to abide by. Using leftover chicken and veggies, and smooth cannellini beans, this soup is rich and flavorful without being too heavy. The addition of Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous), is a fun departure from the standard shell or orzo pasta. This soup is perfect for the cooler weather that’s approaching and feeds a small army for for less than $1 per serving. Gotta love that!

Makes 8 servings; total cost per serving: $0.88


4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup chopped cooked chicken thighs
2 cups cooked cannellini beans
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup dried Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, oregano, basil and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant and the onions begin to turn translucent. 

2. Next, add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes, followed by the chopped zucchini and tomatoes. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add the broth and water. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 6-7 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and beans and cook for a couple minutes more, followed by the couscous. Simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from heat. Check for seasonings and adjust according to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. When ready to serve, stir in the chopped spinach. Ladle generous amounts of soup in bowls or soup mugs and drizzle with extra olive oil. Serve with warm, crusty bread, and enjoy!

To read more blogs from Kimberly Morales, check out Poor Girl Eats Well, found at