Friday, March 4, 2011

Quick Hearty Soup for Busy Night

Everyone was busy this week and our evenings were filled too so I made this easy soup one afternoon and then it was waiting for us as we all ran in and right back out again. It was a hit with the kids in terms of flavour and a hit with me because it was such a no-brainer to throw in all the ingredients and then let it simmer while I did a quick cleanup. To speed things up, I used canned beans but one of my goals this year will be to get more comfortable with learning how to use dried beans and preparing them properly.

The only things I would change with this recipe for next time would be to add more chicken stock since the pasta must have absorbed more than expected (probably because I made it earlier in the day) and I would have preferred it to be slightly more liquidy, and throwing in some green stuff like spinach towards the end. Next time... But the addition of the sausage meat and the beans provided the heartiness they all needed to get through hockey, hiphop and treadmilling without running out of steam.



Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta
from The Italian Dish blog

1 cup dried cannellini or cellini beans or 1 15-ounce can of any beans you like, drained
1 pound ground sausage, turkey or pork
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 medium carrot, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
6 to 8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 cup ditalini pasta, or any small pasta
grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

If using dried beans, place them in a pot, cover with cold water and let soak for several hours or overnight. Drain.

In a large pot, brown the sausage and then remove from pot. If there is a lot of fat left in the pot, pour it out but don't wipe out pot. Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add garlic and saute about a minute more. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and pepper and the drained beans and the sausage and cover the pot. Cook for an hour over low heat, at a gentle simmer.

If using dried beans, check for doneness at this point. (If using canned beans, add the pasta now.) If the beans are not soft enough, cover the pot again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add some more chicken broth.
Serve with grated cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Rest of the week
March 1 Ordered Thai food
March 2 Sausage and bean soup with bread and salad
March 3 Fancy dinner out with kids

1 comments:

mamashack said...

my soup tip of the day: when I make any soup that calls for the addition of noodles or any sort of pasta , I make the pasta separately and then when you want to eat the soup, you put a scoop of cooked pasta in the bottom of the soup bowl and ladle the hot soup over top. It warms the pasta back up and you can still have a nice, brothy soup. Store the soup and the pasta separately as well because the longer the pasta sits in the soup, the more liquid it absorbs and by the next day, you have giant pasta and no broth at all

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