So, I eat beans now. I have always always hated beans. My dad would always have black beans when we had tacos, and whenever I was made to try them, I gagged and wanted to puke and whined about why anyone would want to eat anything so terrible. I hated canned baked beans, but grudgingly ate them, because that's what we had to go with the hot dogs.
The only thing I've ever consistently enjoyed beans in was chili.
Let me tell you a secret: There are like eight cans of beans on my pantry shelves right now. I love beans. I love their meaty texture and fabulous flavour. I love how versatile they are. I love how healthy and awesome for your body they are. I can't get enough of them. The best part? Rich is really into them now, too. Shortly after I got my wisdom teeth removed and was still on a mostly liquid diet, we were talking about our meal plan for the following week, when I would hopefully be able to eat more solid foods, and he said, "Let's have something with beans. I really want beans." Eating beans is a huge step in our diet adjustment. So awesome.
Anyway, this dish started as a side dish to this beef and sweet potato turnovers I was making. I wanted something light on the side, and so this was just going to be carrots, peas, and mushrooms. Simple, light, a good accompaniment. And then Rich said, "Can we add beans to this?" and so we threw in some beans. And then we added fire roasted tomatoes, and then pasta, and then it all got spiced up. And this is what we ended up with.
I don't know how to make a traditional pasta e fagioli (can't be that hard), but I bet it's not quite like this.
Also, this is in my top ten of favourite soups now.
1/2 package of frozen peas and carrots, or 1/2 cup of peas and diced carrots
1/2 package mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 ounces small pasta (pictured here is ditalini)
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp each garlic and onion powder, oregano
Add a small amount of oil to a large pot at medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add peas, carrots, beans, tomatoes, stock, and seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat slightly, add pasta, and cover. Cook until pasta is al dente.
Add mushrooms, and cook a few minutes more. At this point, the pasta should be softer.
That's it. It's so easy. So healthy. So awesome. And filling! It was a little much with the turnovers, so I would probably put less in the bowl if you're having anything else with this soup.
An alternative to cooking the pasta in the broth is to cook it separately in water and add it to the soup. It's a matter of personal preference. I find that pasta cooked in water and added absorbs less broth over the next few days.
Anyway, stop listening to me talk about this soup and go make it! You won't regret it.