Have you ever eaten something that was EXACTLY what you’ve been craving? You know the dance; you’re hungry, don’t know what you want. You think of all your options at home or even from a restaurant or takeout. Two hours later, you still haven’t pin-pointed what it is you want. You end up eating something else, but it’s a bit depressing. You might even go through this same cycle for a few days afterwards.
And then, there’s the chance that you are in touch with yourself enough to know what you want, and you eat it. It’s more than just the physical or sensory satisfaction, there’s something else. There’s the spiritual or soulful satisfaction that you are listening to your body and you give it what it wants, or even needs.
Last night (a night of rest), I got back in the kitchen and made the most amazing soup ever! I had a craving for some sort of vegetable soup, and found this gem of course, on the Cooking Forum. I think what really threw this recipe over the edge was that I used 1 ½ pints of my homemade Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce instead of the canned tomato sauce called for in the recipe.
It was sublime.
This is also a really great option for using all those yummy summer veggies that are starting to ripen!
Yields: 8 servings
NOTE: This original recipe would make a HUGE amount of soup, so I halved all the ingredients called for and had plenty
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 cups water
4 cups tomato sauce (I used homemade pasta sauce)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can green beans
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seashell pasta
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping (I think Gruyere would be amazing!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.
3. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.
4. Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.