And Your Stomach...
Your head, your sinuses and just
about everything else!
I love soup and this is our favorite.
There are weeks I have to make this twice.
The great thing about this soup is that you can dress it up or down to the level of your budget and what you already have in the pantry. It's a great use up recipe for that handful of pasta or if you have a mix of beans or whatever kidney, black beans or pinto beans you have on the cupboard shelf.
The genesis recipe for this soup is from a great book called, "Splendid Soups". I typically make it with black beans and bacon. This week I had no bacon but had some prosciutto which is what the original recipe calls for. I also had no pasta (the scurge of having a teenager) so mine is sans pasta for this week (I made garlic knots out of white bread from the bread machine). My "canned" tomatoes are my canned spaghetti sauce I put up earlier this past week. See, you can mix and match with what you have. This is also great for throwing everything in the crockpot in the morning (sans pasta), blending it when you get home and popping in pasta in the last 11 mins.
Bean & Pasta Soup
|Mix and match to what you have on hand!|
- Beans, black, pinto, kidney,
what- have-you about 2 cups
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced (or 2 tsp from a jar)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups tomato sauce or canned tomatoes
- bacon or ham product about 4 slices chopped
- basil or pesto* (see previous entry for how to make!)
- Chicken boullion
- handful of pasta
This is a Melissa D'Arbarian tip that I think is stellar. If you buy a bagful of dried beans, you can make them all up at once and have enough beans for several recipes, just pack them in 2 cup sizes and put them in the freezer for later use. For the cost of about two cans you can make at least 6 pots of soup or something else!
Use your pork products to render your fat. If you use something lean as I did in this case, you may have to add olive oil. Once you have rendered your fat, add your onions first.
Once all the aromatics are softened, add your tomato products. Don't worry too much if this is chunky, prior to eating the soup, you will blend it all to a smooth consistency.
Save yourself some dishes. Four cups make a quart so fill up that tomato jar and get every last bit of summer goodness out of that!
Add your water and bouillon cubes.
One packette to each 2 cups of water.
Add your beans and pesto/basil and simmer for about 30 mins to an hour.
Grind with an emulsion blender. You can use a regular blender but only fill about 1/2 way and put a towel on the top of the blending cup. Hot soup burns! I speak from experience.
After blending add your pasta and cook for another 11 mins or so. I often shut the crockpot down at this point and just let the residual heat finish the pasta if I'm doing it in the crockpot.
Dress with sour cream and cheese. Delicious!
You may end up making it twice in a week too. It's just that good!
... And no one has to know how easy and budget friendly it is!