My go to soup: beans and pasta
I am sure anyone who cooks has some foods that they can make without a recipe and soups must be among them. Do soups really need a recipe? You kind of build a soup layer by layer with what you have on hand. This beans and pasta soup is the one I go to when I need a good hearty soup that doesn’t require any special trip to the store because I usually have all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry.
For this recipe I use canned beans, canned tomatoes and a good vegetable stock that I buy through a local chef. You can use another low sodium veggie stock and it will be just fine.
This is not the kind of soup that simmers for hours on the back burner. Vegetable based soup are ready in no time and do not benefit from a long simmer.
I store the soup in Mason jars in the fridge and when I reheat it I add more vegetable stock to thin is out as needed.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 slender carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 vegetable stock bouillon (demi glace style)
A handful chopped Italian parsley (flat leaf)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 can white beans
1 cup small pasta shells
Optional: parsley pesto (recipe here)
Heat olive oil in a large pot, add onion and cook until softens.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, being careful not to burn it.
Add the carrots, celery and red pepper and cook until the vegetables soften but do not let them brown.
Add the tomatoes, stock, water and bouillon and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and add the parsley, thyme and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the beans and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat.
Add the pasta, cook until it’s done, just a few minutes. I often turn the heat off when I add the pasta and cover the pot. The pasta will be cooked in 5 minutes. You may need to add more stock or water because the pasta tends to absorb a lot of the liquid.
Taste and adjust for salt, add pepper if you’d like.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of parsley. If you have parsley pesto spoon some into the soup as you serve it.