Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pasta e Fagiole

This soup is very similar to the one served at Olive Garden, but I find this version tastier. Theirs has meat in it, if you want the meat, simply brown 1/2 lb ground beef or italian sausage with the onions, and drain the fat before going to the next step. I like mine just fine without it, though.

Like many of our soup recipes, this calls for chicken broth. It's just as tasty to substitute vegetable bouillon if you want a vegan alternative.

1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced (or 3 T dried celery, to be added when you add the broth)
1 can tomatoes and liquid
1/2 can tomato paste
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I usually use bouillon cubes)
1 c. small pasta
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can white beans, drained
2 T salt-free Italian herb blend (I like Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in 3-4 T olive oil. (Include hamburger or sausage if using). When vegetables are translucent and tender, add tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and simmer for ten minutes. Then add pasta, herbs, and beans. Continue simmering until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste - add more if you like your broth to be more tomato-y. Salt and pepper to taste.

For a fun Italian treat, serve with Italian sodas

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