Ohhhhhh cold weather. How you are not my favorite. While the temps this week have in fact warmed up significantly from the bitter negative temps of last week, my little corner of the world is still nowhere close to being a balmy locale. One thing I've learned to accept, is that when the weather turns cold, the heat in the kitchen must go up. Nothing is quicker, easier, or tastier than a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter's day.
Over the weekend, T & I snuck away for a quick last minute road trip to my hometown where we were able to enjoy, among other things, one of my mom's soup offerings...bean soup. Yum. Yum. Yum. T said he's never had it before, but after three big helpings, I think it's safe to say it was a hit! The scotcheroos & chocolate star cookies probably didn't hurt either... Hopefully sometime this winter I can snag a ham bone and make it in my own kitchen. Ham bones don't exactly load up in my freezer when T & I live in a household of just two people, and I'm not planning to ever eat ham for a week straight however much T might enjoy that...carnivore that he is...
This soup is inspired by one of the Olive Garden's main soup offerings. When I asked T if he though it sounded good Several times, I've tried to recreate or make a copycat version of a favorite restaurant recipe. Usually, whatever it is ends up pretty tasty, but this soup is almost spot on to the way the restaurant serves it up. Bonus!
Step One: Gather the ingredients.
Step Two: Brown the hamburger. Then saute the veggies. Finally, add the remaining ingredients (minus the pasta), and give it a good stir. *NOTE* This soup would be equally delicious without the ground beef if you prefer a meatless version.
Step Three: Cover, and simmer for 45 min. At the end of 45 min., cook the pasta in a separate pot to al dente. Drain the pasta, stir it in with the soup, sprinkle with paremesan cheese, and waaaah laaaah! Bon Apetit!
|Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats|
PASTA e FAGIOLI SOUP | Yield: 6-8 servings | Total Time: 1 hr 20 min
1 lb ground beef
1 T olive oil
1.5 C carrots, chopped
1.5 C celery, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
28oz can diced tomatoes
15oz can tomato sauce
15oz can crushed tomatoes
2 15oz cans beef broth
15oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15oz can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
kosher salt to taste
8oz dry ditalini pasta
parmesan cheese, optional
Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Break the ground beef into pieces, and brown for about 8-10 min., or until no longer pink. Drain the excess fat from the pot, and bring back to medium-high heat.
*NOTE* See note below on slow cooker options.
Add the chopped carrots, celery, onion, and minced garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine. Cook for another 8-10 min., or until the vegetables begin to soften, and the onions start to turn translucent. Don't forget to give it a good stir for even cooking.
Add the remaining ingredients - except pasta. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 45 min. to 1 hr. stirring occasionally.
When your timer says 45 min., bring a small pot of water to a boil, and cook the ditalini pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta, and add to the soup. Now is also a good time to pop those breadsticks or rolls into the oven if you are planning to serve them as a side.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread or breadsticks.
*SLOW COOKER NOTE* While I made this soup in a little over an hour via stovetop, you could also make this in a slow cooker. First, brown the beef in a skillet. Drain fat, and add to slow cooker with all ingredients except pasta. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high 4-5 hours. During the last 30 min on high, or 1 hour on low, add the pasta.
Do you have a favorite copycat recipe?