what is minimalist home cooking?

wild & tame rocket salad
I could make some dodgy jokes about minimalist home cooking being eating out all the time, or what happens when you’re in a country stricken by famine – but I’ll spare you.

There are many different options when it comes to defining minimalist food. For some it means veganism for others it is raw food. As a dedicated bacon lover and passionate cook, neither of those definitions are going to work for me.

To give you an idea of what to expect from the stonesoup minimalist home kitchen, the focus is on recipes that meet most or all of the following criteria:

i. minimal time

As much as I love spending a whole day in the kitchen, I’m always thinking about how I can do things more quickly and efficiently. I’m excited about sharing my tricks with you on stonesoup.

When I say minimal time, I’m talking about the actual active time spent cooking. Something like my 2 step home baked beans, which cook overnight could be taken as not being time minimal, but when you look at the actual active time spent cooking, they do pretty well.

Not all the recipes on stonesoup are going to be able to be prepared in 30 minutes or less. When I say minimal time, I’m sometimes meaning that compared with how long it would normally take to cook a particular type of dish, a minimalist recipe would be significantly quicker.

ii. minimal number of steps

This is linked to time but I wanted to spell it out separately. I’m keeping the instructions as simple as possible while still giving enough detail so you won’t have to fill in the blanks – concise but easy to follow. If you find a recipe that you don’t understand – please let me know in the comments so I can help.

iii. minimal number of ingredients

While I’m not doing something gimicky like limit my recipes to 4 ingredients or less, I know a long ingredient list can be daunting. The recipes on stonesoup are formulated so there are no needless ingredients. Everything must perform a key function to get included. If there are possible additions or substitutions, I make a note of them in the preamble so you can decide for yourself.

iv. minimal equipment

I’ve never been a fan of single use kitchen equipment. If I was a true minimalist I’d ditch my icecream machine and my pasta maker but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Instead I’ve decided to make sure I don’t use any fancy equipment from now on in the recipes featured on stonesoup. I promise to keep my fresh pasta and icecream making to myself – unless of course I find examples of these that can be made without investing in heavy kitchen artillery.

what it is

visually appealing
mostly wholesome
quality not quantity
natural as possible

what it isn’t

showing off
overly decorative
excessively fatty or sugary
overly processed


There are plenty of recipes in the archives that don’t even come close to meeting the minimalist criteria. These are from stonesoup pre-minimalism. Even though they aren’t minimalist, there are some gems amongst them so please feel free to explore.