Thursday, December 3, 2009

Soup ... Glorious Soup!

Everyone knows soup is the perfect comfort food for cold, blustery days. And anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I love soup. I love making it and I love eating it! There's something infinitely satisfying about chopping vegetables, sauteing garlic or adding just the right combination of herbs and spices. Sometimes I feel like an artist putting dabs of paint on a canvas ... a little pinch of this and a drop of that added to the soup pot and voila! I have created a masterpiece! This is a really easy Tuscan style white bean and spinach soup recipe. Mini meatballs could be included here, but I baked 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead, cubed the chicken and added it to the soup. You may need to add additional chicken broth or water as the soup cooks down.
Hearty Tuscan White Bean Soup
• 1/4 cup EVOO
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 - 10 oz. pkg. matchstick carrots (I like lots of carrots)
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 bay leaf
• 49 1/2 oz. can chicken broth
• 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
• 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, any variety (rinse & drain)
• 1/2 pkg. fresh spinach
• 1 1/2 cups macaroni, uncooked (I used Mezzi Tubetti pasta)
• salt and pepper
• grated Parmesan cheese, and or Pecorino Romano cheese, to serve
1. Heat the oil in a 4 quart soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, garlic & carrots and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes thyme, pepper and bay leaf.
4. Drain the beans and roughly mash 1/2 a can of beans. Add the beans and mashed beans to the pot.
5. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
6. Add the macaroni and cook until tender according to package directions. (About 10 minutes.).
7. Add spinach. It will wilt/cook quickly.
8. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan and/or Pecorino Romano.

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