Now that my preschooler is into soup, I'm all about making it as much as I can. There's nothing cheaper, easier, or more delicious. This recipe for pasta fagioli from Family Circle was the latest soup that we tried.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
2 cans (14.5 oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
8 oz (about 2 cups) small pasta shells
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bunch fresh kale, tough stems discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces and washed*
2 cans small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving
(* I wasn't impressed with the selection of kale and used baby spinach instead)
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
2. Stir in tomatoes, broth and 3 cups of water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Add pasta and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
3. Stir in kale; cook 5 minutes more. (If using spinach, cook for approximately 2 minutes.) Reduce heat to medium and stir in beans, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Heat through.
4. Ladle into bowls; garnish with Parmesan.
The Verdict: Quick, easy, delicious.
This is another soup that's great for the toddler to preschool set as you can ladle out more beans and pasta than broth, making it easier for them to eat. Of course, if your kid is my kid, you have to spend a few minutes picking out bits of floating green. While that was annoying, he did proclaim this recipe to be "delicious" (or "deeyishis" in Amir speak).
The combination of tomatoes/beans/pasta is always a hit in our house. It's satisfying and keeps well for leftovers; just add a little more water and broth to the next day's pot.
While this isn't the best recipe ever, it is good. And fast. And vegetarian. And, most of all, the kiddo likes it. Which means that I might just make it again.