I think soup is an almost perfect food.
In one pot you can create endless variations that can result in hearty, stick-to-your-ribs winter fare or light, frothy, heat-quenchers for summer. The former was what I went for last week. The combination of colder-than-normal temperatures and a need to make some room in the freezer had me hunting for a soup recipe utilizing chard (another marvellous thing about soup is the way you can really cram in those vegetables). I decided to make Pasta e Fagioli, loosely basing it on a recipe from ‘Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant’.
- Saute 1 chopped onion, 2 sliced carrots, and 2 sliced celery stalks in some oil in a large pot.
- When the onion starts to turn translucent, add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and 1 teaspoon of rosemary.
- Saute a couple of minutes before adding 3/4 lb. chard (mostly leaves) and cook until wilted.
- Add a 28-oz. can of tomatoes and a 15-oz. can of chickpeas with liquid. Also add about 4 cups of water.
- I had some pre-cooked turkey sausage that needed to be used so I chopped it up and added it to the soup at this point. An alternative that I made the other day was, instead of the sausage, I put in 1/2 lb. of frozen bush beans.
- Salt to taste – I used a couple of teaspoons. Lots of black pepper.
- Simmer gently, covered, for about a half hour.
- I had some leftover spinach lasagna noodles that I sliced up and put in the bottom of each soup bowl but you can cook up any chunky pasta you have (cook it seperately or, even easier, throw the dry pasta into the pot with along with the tomatoes, beans, and water). A little grating of parmesan cheese and some toast made from a country loaf topped it off.
Soup is such a basic food but, as I said, has many variations. I’d love to hear some of yours…