Moab UT

Moab UT

Monday, November 17, 2008

A soup recipe to enjoy

For those who know me personally, you will recall that I don't cook very well.  Fr. Justin, on the other hand, is an excellent cook.  I have learned a great deal from him, but I realize what is missing on my part is the joy.  I don't know why he likes cooking so much.  Maybe it enables him to work with his hands and frees his mind which is always working.  Or, perhaps he doesn't want to starve to death?  Just kidding.  

Anyhow, over the years I have collected a few of my favorite recipes which are vegetarian.  This comes in handy during the times of the year when our church fasts-which is often.  

Right now we have just entered the Nativity fast.  This fast requires that we give up meat, wine, oil and dairy-if we are able.  We will fast until Nativity morning following the Divine Liturgy.  Several friends have asked me to share some of our 'lenten' recipes and so I hope to do that here.  Suffice it to say that none of the recipes I will be sharing are labor intensive.  

So without further delay, here is a pasta and white bean soup.  We all love this soup-especially the kids.  This was taken from a book called Vegetables rock!, which I would recommend if you could pick it up used.  This book is a compilation of favorite vegetarian and vegan recipes from other sources.

Pasta and White Bean Soup with Garlic and Rosemeary
Jack Bishop
The complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling over the soup
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups drained canned whole tomatoes, chopped (I buy the one's already diced)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
7 cups vegetable stock or water
6 ozs. small pasta, such as small elbows or shells (We used whole wheat/whole grain pasta in our house, however, this pasta does not work in this recipe.  You will want to use regular white pasta)
4 cups cooked cannellini beans (you can use two 19 oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, if you don't want to cook the beans yourself)

1.  Heat the oil in a large soup kettle or stockpot.  Add the garlic and rosemary, and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

2.  Add the tomatoes and a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Simmer until the tomatoes soften, 3-4 minutes.

3.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook until almost tender, 7 to 10 minutes.  

4.  Add the beans, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors and finish cooking the pasta.  Adjust the seasonings.  Serve immediately with a drizzle of oil to taste.

Serve this with hot bread-particularly hot sourdough bread made by Gregory or Maria.  If this is not possible learn to make a good loaf of sourdough for this recipe.  Ok, or just go buy some...