Friday, September 03, 2010

Dinner Week #6 Pasta con Ceci Soup

Once in awhile we roast a chicken for dinner. Whenever we do, you know we will be having this soup later in the week. I boil all the bones with a quartered onion and a few broken celery stalks, with enough water to cover them all, for a few hours to make some stock. Strain it all into a bowl through a strainer and I usually have 4 to 6 cups - I use it in this recipe, adding water or canned broth to make up any difference. Then at the end of the recipe I also add in any leftover chicken meat, chopped or shredded, to make it even more hearty.

However. The recipe is originally vegetarian. So you can easily use vegetable broth and no meat. And as you know, soup is always open for improvisation so add or remove whatever to suit your taste. But if you follow this recipe to the T, you will have a hearty, healthy and astoundingly delicious dinner. For the record, both girls love this.

Pasta con Ceci Soup
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
4 cups (2 cans) vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans with liquid
1 cup dry small pasta, like macaroni
1 tsp salt
1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried rosemary
1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried basil
4 cups fresh spinach leaves (I use baby)
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Leftover cooked chicken, optional

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add onion, celery, and carrot; saute 2 to 3 minutes until tender. Add garlic and red pepper. Cook 1 minute.

2. Add tomatoes, broth and water; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Add beans, pasta and salt. Cook another 10 minutes until pasta is cooked.

4. Stir in herbs and spinach (and chicken if using). Serve with grated cheese on top.

Serve with: Parmesan Herb Bread and Orange Julius

Orange Julius
12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
12 to 16 ice cubes

Pour all ingredients, except ice, in a blender. Blend, adding ice cubes one at a time, until smooth. Makes 4 servings

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