In the soup


The weather has been so cold over the last week or so that I have been making homemade soup every other day. I tweeted about making Minestrone on @JuliaRobertsQVC and someone tweeted back that they would like the recipe.

As I haven't put up a recipe for ages I thought I would oblige, although this is only a guideline as to what goes in (ingredients do change a bit depending on what is in my fridge at the time!)

Veggie Minestrone

1 onion (diced),
1 large carrot (diced),
1 medium potato (diced),
50g chopped frozen spinach,
150g frozen peas,
50g spaghetti,
a dozen fresh basil leaves,
a pinch of dry oregano,
1 litre veggie stock (made with a veggie stock cube),
1 tablespoon tomato puree,
200g tin of chopped tomatoes OR 200g passata,
black pepper,
grated parmesan to serve

1. In a large saucepan, fry the diced vegetables in a little oil for 5 minutes.
2. Make the vegetable stock with boiling water and the stock cube, stir in the tomato puree then add to the pan with the chopped tomatoes /passata, basil, oregano and black pepper. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
3. Add the frozen spinach, frozen peas and the spaghetti broken into 2 inch lengths. Bring back to the boil then simmer for a further 20 minutes.
4. Serve with the grated parmesan cheese and french or ciabatta bread for a warming, filling lunch.

If you have never made soup before it is really easy, but if it looks a bit daunting, watch out for a new product coming soon on QVC called the Cuisinart Soupmaker.

Emu boots TSVTalking of the cold, the TSV at midnight tonight is a pair of Emu boots – toastie tootsies if this cold snap continues!

I'm also looking forward to Best of British Day on Saturday with our Liz Earle TSV and a new show at 5pm called Neom Organic Fragrances – think luxury fragranced candles and bath products… gorgeous!

Hope to see you there,

love Julia xx


  1. Jean Pugh February 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    I make a lot of my own soup, you can’t beat it. I will try your recipe out, it sounds really nice. Lovely boots on the TSV, but I did buy a pair of the Alba boots back in December, and seeing that I have several other pairs I think I must give these a miss. Yes I am also looking forward to Liz Earle, and the Neom Organic Fragrances show sounds as if it will have some nice things on there. Will have to watch these shows. Looks like you could be in for some snow over the weekend, down here in Somerset we are going to get rain, snow is a problem when we get it, but it is nice to go out in it for a walk with the dogs, who love it. Have a great weekend.
    Love Jean X

  2. Marian Bolton February 4, 2012 at 9:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I love home made soup but don’t often have the time to make it. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for that soupmaker. That’s one of the things I love about QVC, we can always rely on you to bring us the latest, greatest products. I’ll be tuned in for the B&W shows (and lots of others of course!) today and looking forward to lots more on The Q this week, especially Elemis, as I have a week off work.

  3. Marian Bolton February 4, 2012 at 10:03 am -  Reply

    P.S. Julia, can’t wait for the Beauty Bash Highlights shows tomorrow. Waiting to see if my buns will make it to air! Did you get one?

  4. Magda Chetty February 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I do not make a lot of soup as we do not get too cold here, but this week, we had soup 3 times, it is so cold for Mallorca, the last few days it was only 1 or 2 during the day and last night it was -3 we even had snow. As you know the way they build the houses here, keep the heat out, but my God do they get cold, we had the heating on and the wood fire and still could not get warm. I think we are paying for having a great warm January. Loved your B&W show and I did order an EMU boots, I think I need them now.
    Keep warm, sorry about Palace not being in the final, it was a shame the way they came out, better luck next year.
    Much love.

  5. tracey weeds February 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm -  Reply

    dear julia, i was just wondering if i could make a request well two actually!! when the measurements are given for tops i was wondering whether the sweep or hip measurement could be given as well , hopefully im not the only one whose hips are bigger than their bust and need to buy on the size of my biggest part!!! also when you see the fashion buyers could you ask them to ask the designers for more long sleeves instead of 3/4 length ones , for the people who dont like them like me cant pull the sleeve down but other people can at least push up long sleeves to make them 3/4 length, nearly everything seems to be the shorter length now . i hope you didnt mind me asking i know it will take a lot more people to say something before anything is changed but thought you wouldnt mind a different opinion, thanyou so much for your time, look forward to seeing you next time you are on as always love tracey in scotland (still)!!!

  6. Denise February 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love making my own soups too there’s something so comforting about them. Minestrone is one of my favourites – it’s so versatile like you say that you can throw in whatever you have hanging about. It is also nice with some tinned beans ie cannellini,borlotti,aduki added to it that also gives you a protein source.
    Another one I’d like to share is Sweet Potato and mushroom. I don’t have exact quantities just sweet potato,mushrooms,stock cube and herbs then blended. Its really delicious.
    I’m excited to hear about the Cuisinart Soupmaker coming to QVC. My friend got one for Christmas and she’s raving about it so if thats anything to go by it will be a big hit with viewers.
    Keep warm in the cold weather.
    Love Denise x

  7. Alana February 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Your vegetable minestroni sounds lovely I will have to give it a try! I did manage to watch the beauty bash highlights that you presented – the revitalash looks good, think I may be tempted to try it.
    I saw on one of your posts that Sophie is leaving QVC, hope she is moving on to bigger and better things, bet it will be strange for you not having her at work.
    How are you getting on with your book? Looking forward to some more B&W shows this weekend.

  8. Anna February 7, 2012 at 12:45 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Great minestrone recipe! Made it at w/e (substituted spinach with shredded savoy cabbage as that was languishing in the fridge!) Enough leftover the next day (bolstered by addition of a tin of broad beans) for a light lunch for me & hubby with crusty bread and cheddar (no parmesan to hand!)Are you interested in receiving recipes? Got a great carrot cake one which never fails and everyone loves. Will watch out for the Cuisinart show (work shifts permitting!)Thanks for sharing,
    Cheers, Anna

  9. terri cronin February 7, 2012 at 7:21 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, love ur hair, the last few day’s u have been wearing a silver tone popcorn watch, is this for sale or is it ur own onw only l thought ur one was gold , l have looked on line but can’t find it, please help me if u can , many thank’s x

  10. martin forbes bucksburn aberdeen February 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm -  Reply

    hi julia hop you are well.
    did sophie and her friend find a flat to live in

  11. Janice Reeves February 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, Just to say thankyou for the recipe, I made it on Saturday, I live in Malaga and its been rather cold here of late, made it as you said and it went down a treat, we all had it for lunch, even our new little grandson, who is six months old tried the diced veg and spaghetti, will defo make again, loving your hair, and as always you come over on the television as someone who tells us what we want to know about the products you sell. keep the recipes coming. Lots of Love Janicexxxx

  12. julia roberts February 9, 2012 at 11:34 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    You were right about the snow at the weekend – I had a very slow and slightly hairy drive back on Saturday night and only marginally better drive in on Sunday. It’s started snowing again tonight but I think it is due to stop around 3 a.m. so hopefully will be OK by the time I leave for QVC. Hope you enjoyed the Neom show – did you treat yourself?
    speak son
    Julia x

  13. julia roberts February 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marian
    You confused me a bit with the comment about the buns???? Do you mean little cakes? Did you give them to Ali Young? If so that will be the reason I never saw them LOL!!! Hope you enjoyed the Elemis shows yesterday and today – mini series coming up in mid March. It was lovely to see Keeley, and she brought me some Halloumi yummy!
    The soup maker is on next weekend and apparently is very good.
    speak soon
    Julia x

  14. julia roberts February 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm -  Reply

    Hi Magda
    I can’t believe it was cold enough for snow in Mallorca! You are right about the houses not being that warm in the Winter, particularly with the tiled or marble floors.
    If it’s still cold you should try the Minestrone it is really warming. I made ratatouille in the slow cooker yesterday – nice but a bit bland. I know your hubbie is good at curries, any seasoning ideas?
    Enjoy your Emus – I wear mine in the Spring too with bare legs.
    Julia x

  15. julia roberts February 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm -  Reply

    Hi Tracey
    The only problem giving the hip sizes on the tops is that we don’t usually have them on our ‘blue cards’. I can ask if they could start putting them on there but it wouldn’t be any time soon. Did you want long sleeves on dresses or tops …. any particular range?? I had Cashmasoft the other day and most of their tops have long sleeves – have you tried the range?
    Forgive my useless memory but I didn’t ‘get’ the Scotland comment?
    speak soon
    Julia x

  16. julia roberts February 9, 2012 at 11:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Denise
    Good idea with the beans in the minestrone – I don’t put them in as Dan is not great with beans. I get my protein from the parmesan liberally sprinkled on the top!!!
    Your sweet potato soup sounds tasty – Sophie and Chris would like it as they both like mushrooms. Next weekend for the Cuisinart soup maker – shame they can’t bring it forward a bit with all this cold weather!
    Hope you’re keeping warm too
    Julia x

  17. julia roberts February 10, 2012 at 12:03 am -  Reply

    Hello Alana,
    I think the Revitalash really does work – well it certainly has for Sophie …… unbelievable lashes now! It will seem strange without her at QVC for a while – I can’t believe she has been there on and off since leaving Uni two and a half years ago. She has got herself a very good job nothing to do with TV so a new challenge. She is also moving out from home so I really will miss her – we are not just Mum and daughter we are also good friends.
    Sorry for the delay with my book – too much going on at the moment to concentrate on writing but I am nearly finished.
    Sadly I am only doing one of Simon’s shows this weekend but it will be good to see him nevertheless
    Julia x

  18. julia roberts February 10, 2012 at 12:13 am -  Reply

    Hi Anna
    Glad you tried the Minestrone recipe and liked it – great idea to add the beans on day two. I love soups and they are so cheap to make. I have a carrot cake recipe that I use from an old Cranks book BUT do share yours as I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.
    Julia x

  19. julia roberts February 10, 2012 at 12:17 am -  Reply

    Hi Terri
    Thanks for the compliment about my hair – much more manageable now! It is the white gold version of the yellow gold popcorn watch that you have seen me wearing. We do a silver popcorn watch but it is not quite the same as it has an oval dial. I think we also do one in the Veronese range.
    Hope that helps
    Julia x

  20. julia roberts February 10, 2012 at 11:39 am -  Reply

    Hello Martin
    Sophie and her friend get the keys to their flat tomorrow. Now just the small matter of packing!!!
    Julia x

  21. julia roberts February 10, 2012 at 11:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Janice
    I’m really pleased you liked the Minestrone recipe – good to hear your little grandson liked it too. Thank you for your lovely compliments, both about my hair and my presentations. Will post another recipe before too long I promise
    Hasta luego
    Julia x

  22. Marie Mugford February 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    I also enjoyed CBB much to my surprise.
    I would like to ask how viewers get invited to the other BB. Being a big fan of QVC since almost the beginning and hanging on to every word Alison says I would love to come to the next BB. Is it just luck of the draw? I have often wondered how viewers get invited to events. I am jealous!
    love Mariex

  23. julia roberts February 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm -  Reply

    Hi Marie
    There was an online application this year on our website where people were selected at random, as well as the invitations that were sent out to beauty customers. I’m not entirely sure of the whole process but you could write to our Customer Event Team and ask to be considered.
    Good to hear that you are still watching and enjoying Ali Young’s advice
    Julia x

  24. Diane Smith February 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,sorry I hav,nt been intouch to let you know how Dave is, he had his last operation on the 1st december, and the consultant is quite pleased with him,although he was really poorly, he seems to be getting back to normal now, we had a very quiet christmas, I had the flu,and could,nt get out of bed,the doctor said I was just really run down and very down, I hav,ent been up to doing my pilates, and want to get started the problem is I have tried to work a programme out, but I am not having much success,need to firm my waist and bottom up I am only 5’3” and 9stone 4lbs but like to be under 9stone, could you tell me what you think the best exercises, for me to do for those areas,I see Marjolein is back on QVC soon,I must watch her, made your soup the other day we have been having alot of homemade soups lately, it was very nice and tasty, Hope Ali Keenan is still doing ok hav,nt seen her for a little while.? Also hope you and your family are well and looking forward to the warmer weather.Hope you don,t mind me picking your brains.
    Lots of Love
    Di and Dave.xx

  25. julia roberts February 17, 2012 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    Hello Di ( and Dave )
    Thanks for letting me know how things are going with Dave. I’m not surprised you succumbed to the flu after the stress you have been through.
    The whole Pilates routine is great for tums and bums – the warm up leg series is excellent for the whole of the leg but also your bottom. The hundred is great for the tummy, but even better is the 20 minute programme on the cardioboard.
    I’m on with Marjolein at 11a.m. and 3pm tomorrow if you want to ring in and get advice from her.
    Ali K is away on holiday in Australia at the moment – I think she is back next weekend.
    Glad you enjoyed the soup – we had it for lunch yesterday!
    Love to you both
    Julia x

  26. LInda Trace April 24, 2012 at 12:41 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, just want to say we really enjoyed meeting you at the Gem event last week, and to let you know that I have bought the diamond and fresh water pearl ring. I loved wearing it last week and just could not resist buying it. Love Linda x

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