Many hands…make a lot of soup

67 minutes for Mandela

What great timing! I got to try out my new little Nikon Coolpix for this post. It’s not too bad for taking pics on the fly, but I still prefer the ‘mamma’ camera.

67 minutes for mandela

The staff and kids at the school made a hearty vegetable soup again this year to share with strangers. They went out onto the pavement and offered it to the passing pedestrians making their way to work in the morning from the station. The passers-by really appreciated this, especially on a cold winter’s morning. That is the school’s contribution to the ’67 minutes for Mandela’ initiative. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to give a little of yourself to others. Your time is the greatest gift!
Everybody got stuck in. Chopping veggies, slicing carrots, peeling potatoes…and crying over onions. It’s always a great feeling interacting with the school children on another level. Even the ‘naughty kids’ were proud to be helping out.

I love a good vegetable soup.

I am sure most South Africans are familiar with the ‘vegetable soup packs’ that you find at the supermarkets. They normally contain leeks, radishes, tomato, onion and a few carrots. I often buy these, add a few green beans or butter beans, some slices of chouriço and beef brisket… and a great veggie soup is born. This soup is very affordable, chunky, healthy and really simple to make. It takes you about 67 minutes to make altogether, but the time you spend preparing is minimal.

We decided to call it ‘Beanie weather’ Soup because that day was one of the coldest days here in Pretoria this winter and those who did not wear a beanie really felt it.

This photo was taken with my normal camera.
Beanie vegetable Soup

Recipe: ‘Beanie Weather’ Vegetable soup


  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced into quarters
  • 1 tomato, sliced into quarters
  • 1 large potato, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 radish, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tin butter beans
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1/2 chouriço, sliced
  • 1 cup cubed brisket or similar cut suitable for stewing
  • 1/2 cup risoni (pasta resembling rice grains)
  • 100ml olive oil


  1. Into a large pot, add all the sliced and chopped raw vegetables. Leave the tin of butter beans for later.
  2. Add the meat and chouriço.
  3. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the vegetables.
  4. Place on the stove and bring to a boil.
  5. Turn the heat to medium and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Prick with a knife to test.
  6. Remove the meats and set aside on a plate or bowl.
  7. Add the tinned beans to the soup.
  8. Remove the pot from the stove and using a stainless steel masher or an electric hand blender, mash all the vegetables to a smooth consistency. If you prefer a chunkier soup, you may want to use the stainless steel masher.
  9. Place the pot back onto the stove on low heat.
  10. Add the olive oil and the risoni.
  11. Finally, add the meat and chouriço pieces back into the soup.
  12. Allow to simmer on low for approximately 15 minutes longer.

Variations and Tips

You can use rice instead of the risoni. You can also leave the meats out of the recipe.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 35 – 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6


3 thoughts on “Many hands…make a lot of soup

  1. Wow….this looks delicious, even here in Cyprus where the weather is about a zillion degrees right now. I will be saving this for our cold, rainy winters that we get here….plus, we really miss South Africa and veggie soup was always one of my favourite dishes that my mom made in the winter 🙂

    Love your blog…recipes and photos are both GREAT!!! Made focaccia AND pizza last week….yumm, yumm, YUMM!!


    1. Thanks for visiting my blog Annelize. South Africa is so cold at the moment, I t hink your weather is ten times better there. But it isn’t the weather one misses is it?
      It’s the little things. I will try to write some ‘local is lekka’ stuff just for you!! 🙂

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