I’m Not Italian ……
Groundhog day just recently passed and while many states were given the news that they should get ready for six more weeks of winter, here in Georgia our little General Beauregard Lee emerged from his home, popped on his shades, and declared spring is on its way. Sorry to all my colder climate cousins, but while you are still getting buried under several feet of snow the cherry blossoms have already started covering our trees like pink cotton candy. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am extremely excited for the end of winter to be near, even though it has been mild, and only snowed once.
With spring right around the corner I felt that I needed to fit at least one, if not two or three, more soups in. So, for those who are snowed in, this should be coming at the perfect time, but let’s be honest, is there really ever a bad time for soup? I don’t know about you, but I love soup all year long. Of course winter and fall it is the most comforting, but I like foods that are easy, and soup is about as easy as it gets. Therefore, it is on my menu for any time of the year.
Today’s recipe might seem familiar to some of you, but it is a little bit different. I’m calling it pasta fagioli (fazool) my way. I’m not Italian, so I hope that I don’t offend anyone who is an Italian food purist. 😉 I wanted a vegetable soup with a pasta fagioli feel, and in my humble opinion, I feel that I nailed it. I can tell you this, it was good the first day, but it was great the second and third day. Each day the flavor just keeps getting deeper, richer, and more flavorful. With that being said, I’m comfortable in saying, if you like the traditional version of pasta fagioli, you are going to love my version.
Let’s have a quick rundown of the ingredients…..
Onions – I used frozen to keep the house from smelling like onions. They were chopped fairly small. It is up to you how large you make yours.
Celery tops – I had prepped a stock of celery, and just saved out the tops, and leaf portions for the soup. I just did a rough chop.
Carrots – I just cut them in little circles, but if those are too big for you, you can cut them in half.
Zucchini – I used the green, not the yellow, but either will work. I simply cut the ends off, sliced it up, and cut the slices in half.
Tomatoes – I trimmed the vine end, cut each one down the middle, sliced each half in four lengthwise, then four in the other direction to create bite size pieces.
Italian seasoning – I used this because it is what I had on hand, but if you don’t have it you can use equal parts oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
Elbow macaroni – Try to buy an authentic brand that is a little thicker so it doesn’t get mushy when reheated.
There are only eight main ingredients in this recipe, and three seasonings. It is simple, easy, and straight to the point. You’ll notice that this is a really fresh soup, even the tomatoes. I went from using canned (If you use canned tomatoes, please stop. It is one of the worst canned products you can consume for your health.), to jarred, to fresh. You’ll notice a positive difference in your cooking if you switch from processed tomatoes to fresh. You’ll probably never turn back. The beans were also boiled from dry, but if you are in a pinch go ahead and use a can, just make sure you rinse them well, and try to get organic, and low sodium. This is a quick soup, and I know you will love it, and want to make it over and over again. It only makes five, one cup servings, so if you are feeding a big family you might want to double, or triple it. 😉 Once you choose whether to use it as a main dish, or a side, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy!
What is your favorite soup?
Do you enjoy soup all year long?
Pasta Fagioli My Way
By Angie Gouchenour
½ cup onion – chopped (I used frozen)
3 cups vegetable broth (Try to get low sodium organic)
¾ cup celery tops – chopped (I used the leafy ends I had leftover)
¾ cup carrots – cut in circles (approximately 2 medium)
1 ½ cup zucchini – cut in moon shapes (1 medium)
1 ¾ cup roma tomatoes – chopped
½ cup whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 cup cooked pinto beans
½ teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or equal parts rosemary, thyme, and oregano)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
In a medium pot pour a small amount of vegetable broth in to sauté the onions over medium heat. (Just enough to keep them from sticking)
Once the onions are translucent, add the celery tops, carrots, and zucchini, let them lightly cook for about 5 minutes
Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes until the carrots are tender.
Remove from the stove and enjoy!
1 cup = 136 calories