‘I cooked the ‘delicious’ soup eaten by the longest living people in the world – tins can’t compete’

By Staff 12 Min Read

Mirror reporter Lucy Marshall tried and tested a doctor-recommended soup enjoyed every day by the ‘world’s longest living family’. The dish is said to have incredible health benefits and supports weight management

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There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup at home on a cold, rainy day- but rather than heating up a tinned batch, there’s one recipe the “world’s longest living family” swear by.

We’re constantly inundated with the latest foods dubbed as ‘miracle’ health cures, so it’s hard to know what really is the best. But one recipe that has stood the test of time is minestrone soup – said to be the secret to living a long, healthy life.

A doctor has praised the soup and said it can lower cholesterol, improve gut health, support weight management, and lower an individual’s cancer risk. Dr Tim Tiutan took to TikTok and said: “This amazing plant-based soup is full of vitamins and minerals, fiber, and more.”

As well as being approved by medical professionals, the soup has been enjoyed by the world’s longest living family for years. The Melis family have the Guinness World Record title for the highest combined age for nine living siblings. When the record was awarded to them in 2012, their total age was 861 years and the oldest sibling reached age 109. The family ate the soup, bread, and a glass of red wine for lunch every day.

Mirror reporter Lucy Marshall prepared, cooked, and tasted the soup and shared her review.

I eat soup most days for lunch – I’m a carrot and coriander or broccoli and stilton kind of girl (don’t judge)- but admittedly buy pre-made, refrigerated ones from the supermarket. So, I decided to ditch the lazy, warm up in the microwave soup method and test a homemade doctor-approved version.

I have never made my own soup at home, so was excited to get stuck in. Call me optimistic but I was hoping I would love the dish so much so, that I can serve it up to all my family and friends and preach about the health benefits until I’m 109 years old.

When it comes to cooking delicious food I knew I could put my trust in the one and only Jamie Oliver. His recipe on his website states that it only takes 30 minutes to prepare and as the chef shared a YouTube clip of his preparation, I knew it would be easy to cook along with him.

Ingredients

After staring at my depressingly empty fridge, I started by heading out to get the ingredients.

After grabbing a trolley and getting distracted in the magazines section, I began looking for all the ingredients: plum tomatoes, celery, butter beans, dried pasta, bay leaves, kale, vegetable stock cube, olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, and crusty bread.

The recipe also includes salt and pepper, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and two small onions which I already had at home. I think the idea of this recipe is to use a lot of leftover items you already have at home, but if you buy everything in one go it can be an pricier affair.

My total at Tesco came to £28.90. So before I even began cooking I knew that this would be a dish I’d prefer to cook when I have the majority of the ingredients already sitting patiently in my cupboards.

Preparation

I began by dicing all of my vegetables – carrots, celery, onions, and kale. I put a large pan on the hob and put it on a medium heat for a few minutes. I added in three tablespoons of olive oil before adding in a spoonful of ‘Very Lazy’ chopped garlic to keep things super easy.

I put the onions into the sizzling pan and let them turn golden before adding in the carrot and onion. I also added in a few chopped plum tomatoes and a handful of fresh toms for good measure. The great thing about this recipe is it can be tailored to your taste buds.

Next up was seasoning time. I added salt and pepper into the dish – just a few grinds – before putting in two bay leaves, two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a vegetable stock cube. This recipe works for many as it is vegetarian – but you could add meat to it too.

I then added in the kale before pouring in organic chopped tomatoes and then filled the can back up with water and poured it in – as instructed by Jamie Oliver himself. I left the pan for five minutes before adding in a cup of dried pasta. Jamie also suggests adding in a pint of hot water to aid the softening of the pasta.

As this was my first time preparing the dish I was working quite slowly to follow Jamie’s tips closely, so it took a while. I would advise not to be too precious about cutting everything perfectly as it isn’t necessary for this dish. Plus, every minestrone recipe is slightly different so don’t be afraid to make it your own.

I put a lid on the pan and cooked it on a medium heat for 20 minutes. I went off to watch a Modern Family episode before adding my bread rolls into the oven after 10 minutes. Once the time was up, I checked the pan to make sure the pasta had cooked and it was beautifully soft. By this point I was ravenous so I put a large amount of the soup in a big bowl and serve it alongside my warm bread.

Taste test

A delighted hum of ‘mmm’ came out of my mouth as I savoured the first mouthful of the soup. It was delicious. I get quite bored of eating the same soups all the time but I loved all the different elements that this dish gave. While there was plenty of flavour, I do like an extra kick, so in future, I think I would add a dash of something like Cayan pepper to give it an edge.

I also noticed soup is very different from a standard one – it has much more of a stew-like quality.

Halfway through munching I noticed my nose was drippling and could feel the goodness working its charm already. Often healthy meals can leave you wanting something else to eat afterwards, but within a few mouthfuls I was feeling full and satisfied. I think this dish is perfect for the whole family or to serve a big dinner party. It’s also a great way to get fussy eaters or kids to try different vegetables and new flavours. It is definitely one I hope to serve up to my future grandkids someday.

With some many ingredients included this can be a costly dish but I think you can manipulate the recipe to suit what you have at home – any spare pasta or vegetables lying around would work. However the recipe I followed meant that there was plenty of leftovers to enjoy the next day and serve up for others.

I really enjoyed this healthy soup and will be preparing it again in the future. Not only is it a filling tea (I’m Northern, it’s tea, not dinner), it’s exciting, delicious and instantly uplifting. Overall I would give the dish an 8/10. With a bit of extra spice it would get a 10 from me.

Have you tried the soup? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

A version of this story was first published on March 14, 2024.

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