Apparently I am on a Food Network chef kick! This is a really, really good soup. And it was so easy. James and I used to buy a soup that came in a bag from Alessi that tasted similar to this, but of course, this is sooo much better. That was before I conquered soup. I used to be afraid, very afraid, of making soup. And then I discovered chicken stock and I never looked back!
I did make a few small changes to the recipe. Instead of two cans of red beans, I added 1 can red and 1 can white and I'm glad that I did. It was a nice variation. I also added a can of diced tomatoes and that worked out well, too. I used a whole box of chicken stock and didn't have to open a second one!!
We had this with bread for dipping and it made a very satisfying meal! Do try this one soon, if you haven't before!
I am quite perturbed that I did not get a good picture of this. Grrr....
Pasta e Fagioli
Giada De Laurentiis - Family Dinners
4 sprigs fresh thyme (I used dried, about 1 tsp.)
1 large sprig fresh rosemary (Dried again, 1/4 tsp.)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used a full box, which was 4 cups.)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 (14.5-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup elbow macaroni
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 rind Parmesan Cheese (I just let this soak for awhile at the end and then took it out.)
1. Wrap the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure closed with kitchen twine. (I didn't do this. I just put them in the soup and took the bay leaf out at the end.)
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the broth, beans, and sachet of herbs. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes.
5. Discard the sachet. Puree 1 cup of the bean mixture in a blender until smooth*.
6. Before putting the puree back into the soup, add the macaroni and boil with the lid on until it is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.
7. Return the puree to the remaining soup in the saucepan and stir well. Season the soup with ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.
8. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some Parmesan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.