This is the year of soup! Until recently, I never really got too excited about soups or stews. I don't know what changed, but all of a sudden I'm crazy about the comforting ease of making and eating soup. I've been eying a recipe for pasta & bean soup from Maxine Clark's cookbook, Italian Kitchen that was printed in October's issue of Woman's Day magazine and finally decided to give it a try. Once again, my co-worker's abundant magazine subscriptions and my employer's frugality inspired my dinner. Who knew?
(Please forgive the poor picture quality. Soup tends to be a little camera shy and photographing steaming-hot food is a bit of a challenge.)
The original recipe calls for dried beans, but I used canned and adjusted things accordingly. I also used a Not Chicken veggie bouillon instead of the broth called for in the recipe. The bouillon added more salt and oil, I believe, so I adjusted the oil and did not add any additional salt. The soup turned out really well! We'll happily be eating leftovers for lunch the next two days. Another great thing about soups - leftovers!
2 cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 C vegetable broth or equivalent prepared veggie bouillon
1 C short pasta (I used Ancient Harvest quinoa elbows)
4 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped (thanks, Keena!)
1/4 C Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Add broth (or prepared bouillon), reserving 1 cup, to a large soup pot with garlic and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta. While pasta cooks, puree 1 1/2 cans of the beans with reserved liquid and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Stir bean puree and remaining whole beans into pasta and broth, simmer until pasta is tender. Remove pot from heat and stir in tomatoes and parsley. Ladle into individual warmed bowls and garnish with fresh cracked black pepper. Bellissimo!