I found myself with a night of me me me, so what do I do? Cook. It was cold, wet, damp and miserable enough out that I was desperate for comfort food that would not infringe on my upcoming Christmas binging. The result was another soup – one that was sooooo good it only lasted a day (no freezing possibilities were even a glimmer in anyone’s eye). The best thing about this soup is its versatility. Add or remove whatever you want or have or feel like – maybe double the batch so at least there’s a chance it may last for more than a day.
1 TBSP olive or canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp coarse salt
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 pepper, chopped (red, yellow, orange will do)
1/2 can of sweet corn
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced)
4 cups good quality broth
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz )
1 can mixed beans (19 oz)
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 tsps each of dried basil and dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
fresh pepper to taste
3-4 cups water
1 cup dried macaroni or shells
1. Heat oil in a large stove-top pot at med-high, add chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
2. Add all remaining vegetables to the pot and sauté until well cooked and softened (about 10 min).
3. Gradually add stock, tomatoes, mixed beans, tomato paste, spices, and water (add as much as you like until you get your desired consistency – I used 3 cups).
4. Cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes – stirring occasionally.
5. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for macaroni or shells then add pasta to boiling water, and cook until al dente (just under the recommended time)
6. Add al dente pasta to soup and simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. Remove soup from heat, and serve sprinkled with fresh Parmesan and crusty bread.