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Italian pasta and bean soup

Serves 8


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 large celery stalk, cut into 1/4 inch dice
4 cups cooked Great Northern Beans from about 1 1/2 cups dry
7 cups cooking liquid from beans or water
2 cups diced courgette
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoon Italian Herb Mix
1/4 cup tomato puree
1 1/2 cups ditalini (tiny tubular pasta)


Rinse the beans thoroughly. Put the 1 1/2 cups beans in a large bowl with 6 cups of water and leave to soak over night. Drain off soaking water and put beans in a saucepan with the water. Bring the beans to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until tender. Heat the olive oil in a sopup pot. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden. Add the beans, cooking liquid or water, courgette, bay leaves, herb mix and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer, The simmer gently, covered until the courgette is just tender, about 10 minutes. remove from the heat and allow the soup to stand for an hour or so to develop flavor.

In a separate saucepan, cook the pasta al dente. Rinse briefly under cool water until it stops steaming. Add the parsley to the soup and heat it through. when the soup is hot, add the cooked pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at once.




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