Dreary Days = Soup

Dreary Days = Soup

I’ve been up in North Florida at St George Island with the family for the past few days, just relaxing and fishing. I just came home to rainy and dreary weather here in South Florida. Since it actually dipped below 80 degrees, I was in the mood for a bit o’ soup. One of my most favorite soups is Pasta Fagioli. It’s an incredibly easy and quick cooking soup, and is made from basic ingredients I usually have in my pantry. There are many, many different recipes for this soup, some adding marinara, some adding Italian meatballs…I don’t add either of those. I’ve been tweaking it a bit each time I make it, and this last time was just perfect. My secret (which is now no longer a secret) is to puree half of the white beans.
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Pasta Fagioli Recipe

2 (14 oz) canscannellini Beans
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can small diced italian tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 c ditalini pasta (or any small shape)
salt
pepper
parmesan cheese
croutons

1. Puree one can of cannellini beans with the liquid in the can in a food processor or blender until completely smooth.

2. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan over mediumheat and saute onions, celery and carrots for several minutes until softened. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute to release the flavor. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and the dried herbs. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often.Add both the pureed beans and the remaining can of beans (with the liquid in the can) along with the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and then turn down to medium low. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Allow to gentlysimmer for 20 minutes. Then add the pasta and stir often to avoid having the pasta stick to the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the pasta is just al dente and remove from the heat. Ifthe soupgets too thick, add few more tablespoons of chicken stock. Check the seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. 4. Let sit for about 5 minutes, and the soup will thicken as it cools.

5.Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and croutons.

Makes 4-5 Servings

Note: If you have the time, soak and cook dried beans… its even better.

Note #2: You can also add a little (maybe 1/4 cup)diced bacon or panchetta at the beginning with the veggies to impart a smoky flavor, but its just fine without.