Bring oil and asafoetida up to heat in a large saucepan or soup pot. Stir briefly, then add vegetables, fry lightly until slightly softened.
Add water and all other ingredients, except for the fresh herbs. Simmer gently with the lid on for around 35 minutes, or until all the soup mix ingredients are all cooked through.
Add fresh herbs, stir and bring back to the boil. Serve immediately in bowls with a little parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.
You may need to add some extra water if you put pasta in. Great served with crusty wholemeal bread. Asafoetida powder is an alternative to using onions, it can be found in good deli's and health food stores, but beware, it has a very strong smell and needs to be stored in an airtight container.