Pasta & Bean Soup
Using basic canned goods and a few other staples, you can make this comforting soup in just minutes. The trick to achieving a full-bodied homemade flavor from canned chicken broth is to freshen it up with a handful of herbs, some garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. For a meatier flavor, add a little crumbled cooked Italian turkey sausage to the soup.
- 4 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 15-1/2-ounce or 19-ounce can cannellini, (white kidney) beans, rinsed, divided
- 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup medium pasta shells, or orecchiette
- 2 cups individually quick-frozen spinach, (6 ounces) (see Ingredient note)
- 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, (optional)
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Combine broth, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot; bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to intensify flavor. Meanwhile, mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl.
- Scoop garlic cloves and rosemary from the broth with a slotted spoon (or pass the soup through a strainer and return to the pot). Add mashed and whole beans to the broth, along with tomatoes; return to a simmer. Stir in pasta, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Stir in spinach, cover and cook just until the spinach has thawed, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of oil, if desired, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Variation: Substitute chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for the cannellini beans; use a food processor to puree them.
Tips & Notes
- Ingredient Note: Individually quick-frozen (IQF) spinach is sold in convenient plastic bags. If you have a 10-ounce box of spinach on hand, use just over half of it and cook according to package directions before adding to the soup in Step 3.
Per serving: 133 calories; 2 g fat (1 g sat, 0 g mono); 6 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 4 g fiber; 356 mg sodium; 29 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (35% daily value), Fiber (16% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 1
Exchanges: 1 1/ 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat
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- Ease of Preparation
- Total Time
- 45 minutes or less
- 8 or more
- Main Ingredient