middle eastern style minestrone

Middle Eastern style minestrone

middle eastern style minestrone

This weekend, in a search to look for something alternative to do with our butternut squash (which we so often just roast or turn into soup), we discovered Nigella’s recipe for a Middle Eastern style minestrone. Whether you would prefer to call this a stew, or minestrone or soup, depending on the thickness you define for each, it is a fragrant and filling recipe that is much easier to cook that it looks.

The recipe comfortable serves 4, and can be further bulked out by adding more stock and bulgur wheat….should your saucepan permit space.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

middle eastern style minestrone


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 preserved lemons
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 100g bulgur wheat
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Handful of fresh coriander


  1. Finely chop the onion and add to a large saucepan with olive oil. Cook with a pinch of salt for 3 – 5 minutes until the onion is softened.
  2. Meanwhile peel, de-seed and chop the butternut squash into 2cm cubes. Add to the onion with the cumin and coriander seeds. Finely chop the garlic and add this too. Stir around, slicking the squash with the spices and onion and cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes. middle eastern style minestrone
  3. Finely chop the preserved lemons and drain the chickpeas. Add both to the squash with as much of the stock as can fit in your pan – for us this was about 800ml.
    Bring back to just bubbling and leave to simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on but slightly uncovered.
  4. Add the bulgur wheat and recover the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes. At this point you could add more bulgur wheat and stock.
  5. Roughly chop the coriander, and sprinkle on top to serve. middle eastern style minestrone

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