Caramelized leek n' onion pasta soup


This hearty mini-pasta soup is the very definition of moreishness thanks to the "just one more spoonful" sweetness of its caramelized soft-fried onion and leek.

You’ll just want to keep eating and eating it.

easy pasta soup recipe

It’s also really easy to make – you just chop a few ingredients, drop the various bits into two separate cooking pots, then combine it all at the end.

But don’t take my word for it. Try it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it just as much as we do.

Serves: 2


4 medium red onions

3 medium leeks

6 teaspoons of brown sugar

300g/10.5oz fresh mushrooms (shiitake, chanterelle etc.)

2 medium carrots

Chicken or vegetable stock

200g/7oz ditali (or any tiny pasta)

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil



Optional: glug of red wine

STEP 1 - First our preparation, which is all chopping and slicing.

- Peel and then slice the onions as finely as you can.

- Remove both ends of the leeks (all the leafy end and the final half-inch of the other end), then chop these into very thin slices too.

- Finely chop (i.e. ‘dice’) the carrots.

- Lastly, finely slice the mushrooms.

STEP 2 - Now we’ll get our 2 veg caramelizing…

- In a large cooking pot, heat the olive oil over a medium-low hob. When it is hot (note: smoking is too hot!), drop in the onion and leeks, a teaspoon of salt, pinch or two of pepper, and cover.

- Now we’ll fry these ingredients - stirring occasionally - for roughly 10 minutes (until the veggies are all soft and tender).

- Now uncover the pot and stir in the brown sugar. Fry uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, until the veg ‘caramelize’ (in other words turn nicely sticky and sweet).

STEP 3 - Maybe while the veg above are still frying (if you can handle multitasking), boil a kettle and make half a liter/17 fl oz of stock, stirring in the granules fully.

- Now in a second pot, add this stock, plus another 1 3/4 cups water (420ml / 14 fl oz) and the optional wine. Bring to the boil.

- Add a good couple of pinches of salt and drop in the carrots, mushrooms and pasta.

- We will cook these at boiling point for as long as the pasta’s packet suggests, which should be long enough to nicely soften the carrots and mushrooms too (usually around 8-10 minutes).

STEP 4 - Finally, drop the caramelized onion and leek into the mushroom and carrot broth. Stir through a minute more and you’re ready to serve. Simple!

To serve: just one suggestion – big hearty chunks of crusty brown bread.

Enjoyed this pasta soup?

Then why not try…

Spaghetti chickpea soup

Pasta fagioli

• My full Italian Pasta Soup Collection

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