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Florentine Pasta and Bean Soup (Serves 6)

This is no ordinary vegetable soup. Kissed with rosemary and full of flavor, it could soon be one of your favorite soups.

8 cups chicken broth
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
4 (4-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannelloni or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup small or medium pasta shells
1/2 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 tablespoons freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

1. In large kettle, combine broth, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium-lo heat for 20 minutes to intensify flavor.

2. Meanwhile, mash about half of the beans in a small bowl.

3. Scoop garlic cloves and rosemary from the broth with a slotted spoon (or pass through a strainer and return to the pot).

4. Add mashed and whole beans to the broth, along with tomatoes; return to a simmer.

5. Stir in pasta, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 10-12 minutes.

6. Stir in spinach, cover and cook just until spinach is hot.

7. Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional information per serving:
240 calories, 21 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams fiber, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 596 milligrams sodium