Warming Soup w/ White Beans & Pasta

Where did the sun go?  The weather changed considerably yesterday afternoon and it suddenly went from sunny and warm to cool, overcast, and threatening to rain!  Well, bring it on, says I!  I love me some great autumnal weather!  Rain?  Oh yeah.  That’s soup weather! 

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I was feeling cold and hungry and whipped this up for dinner last night.  If you find yourself in the same boat tonight, try it out!  It’s pretty easy and tasty.  Oh, and it’s cooked in one pot!  Um, I think I’ve mentioned my love for things cooked in one pot before, right?  😉

This soup really reminded me of minestrone.  With a side salad and piece of garlic toast I was a happy camper!  Nick, on the other hand isn’t such a big soup fan and fought the urge to request something more “filling” for dinner.  However, once he tucked in found that this was exactly what the doctor ordered to cure the dinner time hungers!  So, I present to you, Warming Soup – Vegan – With White Beans + Pasta!

Ingredients:

1/2 White Onion, finely diced

4 Large Cloves Garlic, finely minced

1/2 Cup Chopped Carrots

1 Can Crushed Tomatoes

4-5 Cups Veggie Stock

1 Can White Beans

2-3 TBS Olive Oil

3-4 Servings of Dried Pasta (I used penne, but you could use any other type you have on hand)

1/2 TBS Dried Basil

1/2 TBS Dried Oregano

1 tsp. Dried Thyme

1 tsp. Dried Parsley

1/4 tsp. Dried Rosemary

1/4 tsp. (or less) Red Pepper Flake

Salt & Pepper (to taste–I added what felt like quite a bit to get it tasting just right.)

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Directions:

In a large pot, saute onion and carrot in olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and saute a minute or two longer.  Add veggie stock, seasonings, and pasta.  Stir, cover, and return to a slow simmer.  Cook until pasta is starting to soften, about 6 minutes or so.  Add tomatoes and beans, cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes or so.  Taste your soup to make sure it doesn’t need any additional seasonings. 

And that’s it!  Easy, right?  Right.

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I’m going to enjoy the leftovers today for lunch!  What are some of your favorite rainy weather dinners?  🙂 

Tomato X 3 Pasta Recipe & Possible Other Thoughts

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Boo ya.  Dinner was great tonight!  When Nick came in he said, “Wow!  What’s for dinner? It smells like STEAKS!”  I have no idea what he was sniffing, I assume the roasting tomatoes?  Anyway, I crafted this based on a mash-up of three recipes I’d read earlier today.  Since I’m not feeling super snuffy, I was craving something hot, with a hint of spice, that was also healthy to help my body kick this cold!  So naturally something with tomatoes in it makes sense, right?

Tomato X 3 Pasta

Ingredients:

3 – 4 Roma Tomatoes

Olive Oil

4 Cloves Garlic (made it medium garlicky, if you don’t like a lot of this flavor, you can add less)

1/2 to 3/4 a Package of Spaghetti (I like more sauce to pasta ratio, plus I tend to cook for two, with leftovers desired for lunch the following day.)

Sun Dried Tomatoes

5 Tbs Tomato Sauce

1/4 Cup Fresh Basil

1/4 Raw Cashews

Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

Salt & Pepper To Taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half, place in a tin foil lined dish (helps with clean up!) drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, then pop in oven.

Get your pot filled with water and on the stove, starting to get hot for your spaghetti

In a Cuisinart, put cashews, basil, & tomato sauce.  Blend until smooth set aside.

In a large pan, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Let cook on lower heat, just so that the garlic starts to soften and suffuse the oil.  Then add your sun dried tomatoes.  I like the kind packed in oil because I like to use the oil for sauteing and dressings, but you can always opt for the plain ones and rehydrate them in a bit of hot water before using.

Tomatoes will look like this when done:

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Add them, juices that run off and all, into the Cuisinart, and blend until smooth.  Then add to the pan with the garlic and red pepper flakes and let cook over light heat while your spaghetti cooks. Sauce looks like this:

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When spaghetti is al dente, drain, and dump right into the sauce, mix, turn off heat, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.  I served with one of my favorites–steamed green beans with lemon and salt on them.

The dinner was super nourishing and while I don’t feel 100% healed, I do feel well fed, and that’s something! 😉  I’d give this a solid 8 out of 10, but am not sure how to improve it.  Time will tell if I start craving this again.

It is amazing how certain flavors take me back to my childhood.  Cashews are one of these sorts of tastes.  My grandpa (Pop) and grandma (Nana) always had these amazingly huge cashews on hand as part of their secret stash of goodies.  Pop would always share some cashews with me when I’d go to over to their house for the day.  Additional loot included HUGE (and I mean HUGE) dates (seriously, where’d he even find these?), candied apricots, and halva.  My cousin and I still talk about these food yummies, since they were an important part of our experience with our grandparents.  Though the grandparents have since long passed, I was right back in their kitchen tonight, as I snacked on the raw cashews that went into this sauce.  I was instantly feeling and re-experiencing the four year old me, marveling at these gigantic cashews, basking in the loving glow of my Pop’s face, as we nibbled, together.

Food is amazing, isn’t it?