Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pasta Fagoli Soup - Quick & Easy Lunch on a Cold Day!

Today is yet another cold day, in a string of very cold days. It snowed again last night and the wind is whistling, sharp and cold.  

It’s not a good day to play outside in the snow, too cold to build snowmen or snow forts. 

I am not complaining, really. I have lived in Canada most of my life and am used to winter. I like to look out the window and see the clean white landscape right after a snowfall. There is nothing like stepping outside on a crisp, cool day and taking a breath of cool, winter air. 

Today the cold weather has inspired us to make some soup for lunch. We found a recipe online several years ago and have changed it over the years to make it our own. 

It is a fabulous recipe to use if you are participating in a pantry challenge – you can use ingredients that you have on hand in your pantry. Change it up any number of ways to make it your own. You can use vegetable stock to make it vegetarian, add extra beans or some cooked meat if you prefer.

It is quick, tasty, nutritious and inexpensive. It is a hearty soup and this recipe makes about 6 servings. We always have leftovers for lunch the next day or to put in the freezer for later. Both my 4 year old and my husband like the soup, which makes it a winner in my house.

1 – 1.5 cups small uncooked pasta (we used rainbow shells & macaroni)
2 – 398mL cans Tomato Sauce (any brand will do – not spaghetti sauce)
3 Pkg chicken bouillon
**(You can use chicken stock instead of the bouillon & water – just use an equivalent amount)
2.5 cups Water
1 – 540mL can beans, drained & rinsed (we used white beans but you can use your favorite)
1/8 tsp ground oregano
½ tsp salt
Sprinkle pepper
1 clove of garlic Рcrushed (we left it out because my daughter does not like it. Saut̩ it with the oregano in a splash of olive oil for a couple of minutes FIRST if you use it)

** If you are using a clove of garlic, sauté it in the pan first, for 2 minutes with the oregano and a splash of olive oil.

In a large saucepan combine
  •          Tomato sauce
  •          Packages of bouillon
  •          Water
  •          Beans
  •          Oregano (if not added first with garlic)
  •          Salt
  •          Pepper
Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer. 

Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes until it starts to smell delicious and everything is heated through.

Add pasta and cook until pasta is tender  – another 8 - 10 minutes

Remove from heat and serve.