Friday, February 26, 2010

Nothing's Better on a Cold Night Than Soup

So, I know I made soup last week, but in honor of the freezing cold we are now experiencing in Florida, I decided I had to do it again (make soup that is).  I also decided to do another old Italian favorite of my grandma's, Pasta Fagioli (pronounced pasta fawzule).  My grandma used to make this on cold nights when I was little so I just had to let you in on the fun.

  1. 1/2 of 16 oz. box of whole wheat elbow macaroni
  2. 4 large (19 oz.) cans of cannellini beans
  3. 3 large carrots
  4. 4 stems of celery
  5. 2, 32 oz. containers of chicken broth
  6. 1/2 clove of fresh garlic
  7. salt and pepper
  8. 1 tsp. of olive oil
  9. 1 tbsp. of tomato paste

This is actually one of the easier soups to prepare.  Start of course with the prep work.  Chop your veggies-carrots and celery- and mince your garlic.  You can also go ahead and cook your noodles until they are al dente (done but not mushy).  

While the noodles are cooking, open your cans of beans and drain them; do not rinse them off.  You want the starch of the beans to remain on them because this is what will make your soup thicken.

Go ahead and finish your noodles as well.  Once they are done, go ahead and drain and rinse them.  Then you can put them aside to put in the soup for later.

Once this is done, you can begin to cook your soup.  First start with the largest soup pot you have.  Put your burner on high, pour your oil in to the pot, and add your fresh garlic.  Tilt the pot to the side so that the garlic are in a pool of oil.

Cook the garlic in the oil until they turn golden brown.  Once this happens you must move fast and remove the garlic from the oil. This step is purely done to add an amazing flavor to your soup.

Now you want to add your chopped carrots and celery.  The goal here is to saute your veggies in the oil you cooked the garlic in.  Once they are tender, you can add your cans of beans, 1.5 containers of your chicken broth, and tomato paste.

Stir this all together and then put the lid on the pot and bring it to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, turn the temperature down and let it simmer.  You can now add your noodles as well as the salt and pepper.

Once the soup thickens (it should cook for at least 15 minutes) you are ready to enjoy a wonderful Italian favorite with your family.  Enjoy!

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