Now that fall is here, soups are back on the menu! This is one of our family’s favorite soups: it’s hearty, spicy, healthy, satisfying, and has great texture: crunchy (from the veggies) and creamy (from the white beans and parmesan). It’s just all-around feel good food.
I made this soup for the first time years ago, when I first started blogging and cooking. The husband, who at that time was skeptical about the extra veggies I added to the recipe, said “I wish my stomach was bigger so I could eat more of this soup!”
It was a nice endorsement from someone who used to live on Taco Bell and Frozen Pizzas, to say the least 🙂 Fast forward a few years later, and the husband still loves this soup – and now Layla loves it too!
This recipe is great because it’s super easy to make, takes only 30 minutes, and it’s a great vehicle for “sneaking” extra veggies into your diet. The tomato and white bean base makes it conducive to adding just about any vegetables into the soup. I chose carrots, bell peppers, kale, and red onions – but you can really use anything you’d like.
I was originally inspired to create this stew by a recipe I saw on the Food Network, from Giada De Laurentiis. I made a quite a few modifications to the recipe, but the base and spice mixture is inspired by the original recipe from Giada.
I topped the soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese, and served it with Alexia’s All Natural Garlic Bread. I love Alexia’s frozen products – they don’t have any weird ingredients in them, and they taste delicious.
And now, on to the stew. My modified recipe is below and the original is here. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers (any color), chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 box baby kale, chopped
- 28oz can crushed tomatoes with Italian spices
- 1-2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (more if needed)
- 1 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup dry small whole wheat pasta (I used penne and then cut the penne into smaller bits when it was cooked)
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Step 1: Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and chop your veggies. Meanwhile, boil water for your pasta in a separate pot.
Step 2: Add the carrots, peppers, onion, and garlic and saute until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add in the kale, cook 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, beans, and spices (red pepper flakes, salt, pepper). In the separate pot of boiling water, cook your pasta.
Step 4: Simmer the stew for 20 minutes on medium-low heat. When the stew is close to done, stir in the pasta (note: I cut each penne pasta in half once it was done cooking – to make them smaller and match the size of the other ingredients in the soup).
Step 5: Cook everything together for another 5-10 minutes on low (be careful not to overcook the pasta though!)
Step 6: Ladle into bowls, and top each bowl with 1 tbsp of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
This is a healthy, balanced meal that even the most die-hard junk-food lovers will enjoy!