Mar 17, 2008

Kidney Bean Pasta Soup

Soups have the power to comfort. When the weather turns brisk there is nothing cozier than a big bowl of soup made with the season's harvest.A piping hot bowl of soup filled with goodness satisfies my soul.In fact mostly dinner at our place is a filling low calorie soup with a salad.It satisfies both the taste buds and the desire for optimal health.

There is no doubt that the taste of homemade soups beats out the commercial ones.But sometimes when I don't want to make a soup from scratch I do opt for convenience,I combine my own ingredients with soup from packets or tins.I add some zing to it with finely chopped or grated veggies with a sprinkling of fresh herbs and serve it with a slice of whole grain bread and lo and behold..... you have a nourishing meal that can make you feel better anytime.
My post today is an immensely satisfying vegetarian or vegan soup which I had come across while surfing the net .This spicy, tangy soup has kidney beans,pasta and veggies which makes it a full meal in itself.You can play around with the veggies and omit and substitute according to your tastes.
This spicy soup goes off as an entry for the event No Croutons Required-spicy soups started by Lisa of Lisa's kitchen and Holler Of Tinned Tomatoes.

You Need:
1cup cooked kidney beans
1cup penne or rigatoni pasta cooked al dente
1 big carrot sliced thin diagonally
1 potato peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1cup sliced green beans
1/2 cup green or red pepper chopped
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch hing or asofoetida
1 tiny pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp dried basil or fresh minced
1 tsp dried thyme or fresh minced
1/2 tsp dried marjoram or fresh minced
1 cup any spicy or zesty basil tomato sauce or can substitute bland one with cayenne,black pepper and grated ginger
salt to taste
4-6 cups water
1 tbsp grated cheese (optional)
1. Cook the pasta in salted water,drain ,rinse with cold water and keep aside.
2.Heat the oil in a pan,add hing or asofoetida then the veggies and saute for 5 mins on med/high heat.
3.Add the herbs and spices and saute briefly.
4.Add the cooked kidney beans to the veggies.If using tinned beans then drain and rinse them,then add to the veggies.
5.Bring to boil and cover and simmer the veggie and beans.
6.Then add the tomato sauce and the cooked pasta and as much more water as you like.Cook for 5-10 mins more.
7. Serve hot with grated cheese on top.
If you are using a slow cooker or crockpot put everything in the pot including the tomato sauce,add 4 cups boiling water,cover and simmer until veggies are tender i.e 1-2 hours.When the veggies are tender add pasta ,tomato sauce and salt and simmer for 15-20 mins more.

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