Winter means Comfort Food. I love cooking hearty stews and soups that take all day to simmer and develop complex flavors. This one is super-easy as it’s just a bit of chopping with the majority of the ingredients coming from cans.
Canned foods will be a staple for us when we are on long passages and in many cases actually provide a greater source of vitamins than fresh ingredients. Fresh produce, for example, is often harvested before it is fully ripened in order to get it to the markets before it starts to spoil. Canned foods are picked at the peak of ripeness and cooked and processed within hours, preserving the vitamin content. Check ingredients to ensure that no salt or preservatives have been added if you are concerned with sodium intake. Many canned foods are available in organic, no/low salt versions.
Variations: Some folks aren’t fond of spinach or green beans, so feel free to leave out. You can also try different varieties of beans such as kidney or pinto, and of course add spices and herbs of your own choosing. You can substitute canned carrots for fresh carrots, but if so add with the green beans instead of sauteeing with the onions and garlic.
You’ll find all the ingredients regularly stocked at our local Grocery Outlet.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Half of a medium sized yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced finely
- 2 cups of diced carrots (I diced approximately 20 baby carrots)
- 3 stalks of celery, diced (approximately 2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 64 ounces vegetable broth
- 2 medium sized zucchinis, diced
- 1.5 cups uncooked small elbow pasta
- 2 – 14 ounce cans of cannelli beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 – 14 ounce can of green beans (drained)
- 2 cups roughly chopped spinach leaves (packed loosely)
- Optional: grated parmesan cheese for topping
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and saute the onion, garlic, carrots and celery until soft and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
- Add the spices and stir well to combine.
- Add the tomatoes (undrained), broth and zucchini and stir.
- Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in uncooked pasta, cannelli beans and green beans.
- Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 more minutes.
- Turn off and let sit for one to three hours for flavors to develop.
- When ready to serve, bring to a gentle boil, toss in the spinach and gently stir.
- Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 2 minutes.
- You can also transfer the soup to a crock pot to stay warm if serving over a longer period of time.
- Optional: Garnish with parmesan cheese and leaves from the celery stalk.
Makes about 8 hearty servings. Recipe is easily halved if you aren’t feeding a crowd. Can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days or frozen for future meals.
Go To Tuesdays are recipes from products available at the Alameda Grocery Outlet, 730 Buena Vista Ave.
Please let me know if you made the recipe and liked it or would suggest changes. And also feel free to suggest future recipes.