The starter in a €10 budget challenge to feed four with a two course meal!


  • 8 cup vegetable stock (recipe to follow)
  • 1/4 head of broccoli
  • 1/2 leek (washed and diced)
  • 2 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 4 stalks of celery (diced)
  • 1 large spanish onion (diced)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 250 ml tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 slices sliced pan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 100 g small pasta elbows
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large soup pot heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the onions, carrot, celery, leeks, and garlic.
  • Cook for 5 minutes to release the flavours. Add the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, and dried thyme, bring to a boil and turn heat to low.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes. Add the diced broccoli florettes and diced broccoli stem.
  • Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a sauce pot boil about 2 litres of water seasoned with salt.
  • Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain when ready and add this to the pasta when ready to serve.
  • Top the soup with the cheesy croutons.
  • Great for a cold winter's night.
  • Vegetable Stock:
  • Ingredients
  • 12 cups cold water
  • All vegetable trimmings
  • Method:
  • Place all ingredients into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain all the vegetable trimmings and set the stock to cool.
  • Cheddar Cheese Croutons:
  • Method:
  • Cube bread to desired size. Toss with olive oil enough to coat. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray in a pre heated oven at 160 degrees Celsius. Toast until golden brown 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top, set aside to cool.

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