Monday, January 28, 2013

White Bean Tuscan Soup

My friend Suzanne and I were discussing soup the other day. (What? We like soup.) She is the one that gave me the recipe for Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup. We were discussing vegetarian soups and thought that the turkey soup could be easily changed into a vegetarian white bean soup. A quick Google search brought up this recipe, very similar and even fewer ingredients.

This was an easy soup to make on a weeknight, lots of chopping but everything still came together in less than 40 minutes. I used fresh carrots instead of canned, I personally would have added them earlier to soften with the onion and garlic. Everything else I followed to the letter, it made a fabulous light meal served with Parmesan on top 7 grain bread on the side.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 (32 ounce) box low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups packed chopped kale
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) can sliced carrots, drained, or two large carrots, peeled and sliced

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add broth, kale and tomatoes (and fresh carrots, if using) and cover. Cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Add beans and canned carrots and heat thoroughly. Serve hot.

Nutritional Info:
PER SERVING:284 calories (80 from fat), 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (8g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 9g protein

Pasta with Chickpeas and Garlic Sauce

I have been trying to make a new recipe a week this year in the hopes of getting out of the dinner rut I've been in. I am in particular need of vegetarian recipes, I have lots of chicken and turkey recipes to rotate.

I had actually come across this recipe on Cooking Light's website a while ago, but didn't use it because I didn't have a food processor (and our blender is a pain to clean). Luckily, Santa brought me a beautiful Kitchenaid food processor, so it was time to give it a try!

I read through the reviews ahead of time and made a few changes based on other readers' comments. I only used about half the amount of chicken broth called for (and next time would use vegetable broth to make the recipe vegetarian) and also cooked all of the garlic at once instead of adding raw garlic at the end. I served with roasted broccoli and it made a great dinner.


2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (as I said, I only used about half)
1 1/2 cups uncooked medium seashell pasta (about 6 ounces) (based on the reviews, I used the whole 10oz box of pasta)
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic (as I noted earlier, I used all four cloves of garlic at this step); sauté 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, chickpeas, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
While garlic mixture simmers, cook pasta in boiling water 9 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain well.
Place chickpea mixture in a food processor, and process until smooth. Combine chickpea mixture, pasta, tomatoes, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and lemon juice; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.
Lia Huber, Cooking Light