We woke up to the quiet of the first snow. It started snowing sometime during the night and by this morning white was blanketing the fields and trees and keeping the birdies busy coming to the feeders all day. Since there was much laundry and computer work to be done today, soup always is favorite. What am I saying, soup always is a favorite anyway and the past couple of weeks, Tuesday has turned into a soup day, and we get to benefit from the big spoils for the rest of the week. Doesn’t it make any meal more special if you start with a small bowl of soup?
Oh well, here I go again with my justifying soup eating. Frankly, soup is one of the easiest things to make. Period. You can make soup even if you think you have nothing in the house. Last week I made a creamy cauliflower soup, all it used was a half a head of cauliflower, some onion, broth and half a red pepper that needed to be used, for a little splash of color. Any vegetable hibernating in your fridge can be used, leftovers can be added. And if you have beans in the freezer and some stock, you’re set, really.
Today’s simple soup was not based on leftovers but pantry staples. And there are a few options and changes that are easy to implement. It uses one can of diced or stewed tomatoes, which you then blend smooth in your blender, but you could also use your own tomatoes, or leftover spaghetti sauce. In fact I have made this with half a jar of Vodka sauce before, and it was fantastic (cut down on the cream/ half&half) And even though you are adding about a cup of cream or half and half, at 8 servings, you are talking about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream per serving. Less than most put in their coffee, so go spoil yourself and use real cream, like I did. And since you are adding Parmigiano to the soup, you could also use up the cream you skimmed off your raw milk and then didn’t do anything with, and now it has been a week and it is starting to separate. Yes, stick it in here, it will be just fine 🙂
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, cut into rounds
- 2 stalks (risps?) celery, diced
- 6 cups water or broth (make sure to reduce salt if using broth)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- about 2 cups of jumbo pasta shells*
- 1 pack of chick peas (or 14 oz can, drained and rinsed)
- 1 pack cannellini beans or 7 oz/ half can
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups pureed tomatoes (1 can diced, pureed in your blender)
- 1 scant cup cream (or half&half)
- 2 tsp flour
- 1 tsp salt
- Parmigiano Reggiano and rosemary sprigs for serving
* Feel free to use any pasta you like, I prefer the big shells as they seem to ‘catch’ the chick peas just so…
- Heat olive oil in your favorite stock pot, add the garlic and cook for one minute before adding the onions and the vegetables. Turn heat to medium and cook until softened and some pieces on the bottom begin to brown. Add the rosemary and the salt, then add the water or broth, and bring to a boil.
- In the meantime, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Then add to the stock pot.
- Once the soup is boiling, add the frozen beans (or the drained and rinsed beans from the can), return to boiling the reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the flavors have blended nicely.
- In a glass or bowl, mix the flour into the cream. Set aside.
- Turn the temperature up and add the pasta. Cook 8 minutes until al dente or according to package instructions. Two minutes before pasta time is up, add the cream, stir and finish cooking.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve with shavings of Parmigiano and some additional rosemary on top.
© 2012 SimpleHealthyHomemade