Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tomato Florentine Soup

This was really a clean-the-fridge kind of soup.  I was going to call it pasta e fagioli but apparently, true Italian pasta e fagioli doesn't have much in the way of vegetables.  Or bacon.  And since I'd rather have vegetables and bacon (thankyouverymuch), we're going to call this Tomato Florentine soup.  But whatever you want to call it, it worked. I used whatever we had on hand and loved the results.  I especially liked cooking the pasta in the soup because not only did it make this a one-pot soup, but it also gave the soup an extra thickness thanks to the starch being released while the pasta cooks. 

Topping the soup with bacon, not surprisingly, took it to the next level.  However, we ate it for dinner the next day (and that does not happen often in this house), and still thoroughly enjoyed it bacon-less.  I served this with savory scones and a simple salad.

Tomato Florentine Soup
Adapted from: AllRecipes and MyRecipes
Serves 4-6
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (if you cook bacon as a topping, you could use the bacon fat instead)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped
  • 1-2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (I used about 2-3 tablespoons of fresh parsley)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 1/2 -6 cups water or chicken stock (I used about 3 cups of water and 2 cups of chicken broth)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can or 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (I used canario beans instead)
  • 1 - 1/2 cups pasta (I like a little less pasta because there's so many other things in this soup but you could increase the amount to 1 1/2 cups; I used small shells)
  • 6 oz spinach, chopped
  • Toppings: grated Parmesan cheese, cooked bacon

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and carrots in olive oil until onion is translucent (approximately 4 minutes). Stir in garlic, parsley, basil and oregano and cook until tender. Stir in bay leaves, tomatoes, 4/12 cups of water/chicken stock, and beans.  Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on high then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer about 20 minutes.  Stir in a little more water/chicken stock if the soup seems too thick.
  2. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; during the last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time, add spinach.  Season to taste.
  3. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and bacon, if desired.


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