Recipe Review: Bean and Pasta Soup

So surprise, surprise, this is another recipe from Taste of Home.  You can view the original source of this recipe here.  I’m fairly certain I’ve purchased several Taste of Home magazines while standing in the checkout line and that’s where I get all these other Taste of Home recipes from.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for strategic marketing.

Bean and Pasta Soup

Serves 5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup uncooked small pasta (elbows, shells, orzo, etc)
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups shredded fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet sauté the celery, carrots, onion and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the water, tomatoes, broth, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  3. Drain pasta; stir into vegetable mixture.  Add the beans; heat through.  Stir in spinach; cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

THOUGHTS

  • I served this as a dinner meal on a chilly night with some delicious French Onion Pan Rolls that I’ll be sharing with you later.  It was mmm mmm good!  This soup is absolutely PACKED with good-for-you veggies and the flavor is really light – not overpowering in the least.  It makes a great healthy dinner!
  • I’ve made this soup before and used whole-grain shells but this time I used orzo because it’s what I had on hand.  You can really use anything.  If all you have on hand is spaghetti noodles just cut them up into 1” pieces and use those.  Anything works.  You can also use whole-grain pasta for added fiber and health benefits over white-flour pasta.
  • Due to the noodles this recipe does not freeze particularly well – they will disintegrate over time and it causes a strange texture.  So, I recommend eating all of the soup within a day or two and not freezing it.
  • If you use vegetable broth this dish is vegetarian.

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