Helen’s XO chili minestrone soup

Today is so cold and raining day. Felt like having a bowl of hearty chili soup to keep warm. As I am also clearing up my fridge and pantry, I am using what I can find and combined them all together.

This is a simple meal anyone can create and have a comforting bowl of soup that is sure to warm you up. It’s sad for me as this is the last of my XO chili sauce from my friend. He is not doing it anymore. Got to learn and make myself from scratch next time. I really want that spicy XO chili sauce to soothe my stomach and really warm me up.

My minestrone soup had put a smile on my face and stomach, it’s so hearty comforting and delicious that I soon forgot about the cold and raining day. I have enough for next day and it will boost the flavour more. Let’s cook and sit by the fireplace with throw rugs and a glass of white wine.


3 bacon rashers, rind removed, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1 celery sticks, chopped
1 Desiree potato, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into bite size
4 cubes of kale, thawed
1L (4 cups) beef stock
1 small can tomatoes paste
200g can mixed beans, rinsed, drained
80g small shell pasta
4-6 Tbs XO chili sauce
2 Tbs oil


Place the sesame oil, garlic, asparagus, bacon, carrots, celery and potato in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over high heat, uncovered, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add beef stock, paste and mixed beans to the pan, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. (To freeze the soup, see note).

Increase heat to high. Add XO sauce, pasta and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, following packet directions or until pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls and serve immediately.


To freeze: For up to 3 months: Set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly before placing in fridge for 45 minutes to cool completely. Place serving-sized portions or whole quantity in shallow airtight containers. (If thawing in microwave, they should also be heatproof and microwave-safe.) Label.

To thaw: Place in the fridge for 10 hours (single portion) or 24 hours (whole quantity) or until thawed.

To reheat: Place whole thawed quantity in a large saucepan, cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Continue from step 3. For serving-sized portions, add 1 1/2 tbs of pasta for each serve.

Microwave reheating: 1 frozen portion – cover and heat on Medium/ 500watts/50%, stirring every 3 minutes, for 9 minutes or until thawed. Stir in pasta and heat on High/800watts/100%, stirring every 2 minutes, for a further 4-6 minutes or until hot and pasta is al dente. For whole frozen quantity – as for 1 portion (above) but thawing time is 15-20 minutes, then add pasta, and reheating time is 8-10 minutes.