Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Pasta and bean soup with pesto
Pasta, beans and pesto are three of my favorite foods. Last night I had a brainwave! Use all of these in a single soup. Why didn't I think of this earlier? The best part of this soup? It can be made start to finish using ingredients from the pantry or refrigerator. That is if you are a good grocery shopper and have pasta, beans, canned tomatoes, pesto and assorted spices in your fridge or pantry. I am not, so I did have to make a grocery store run but I thought I would mention it for the benefit of all of you good grocery shoppers.
The combination of pesto and tomatoes was inspired by this Spaghetti recipe on one of my favorite blogs, The Perfect Pantry. Actually, ever since I saw this recipe I couldn't wait to try out these two flavours together. The rest of the ingredients were only an excuse to bulk up the soup. I used Trader Joe's Genovese pesto (some of you know my obsession for this) but I think any store bought or fresh homemade pesto would work great, which reminds me that making pesto from scratch is high on my list this summer, when basil is in abundance. So if any of you have a good tried and tested pesto recipe, I would love to try it. I might even send you a container :).
Coming back to the soup, it was quite easy to put together. Other than pesto, I used oregano and crushed red pepper flakes for extra flavour. I was quite thrilled at the result, which had nice hints of pesto combined with the heat of red pepper and the tartness of tomatoes. Also the beans and pasta made it a satisfying one dish meal. It even tasted great cold! Now thats a winner.
Now that you are done reading the post, I would urge you to look around and ask yourself does the blog look different? We just redid the design and would love to hear your thoughts/suggestions.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 can of cannellini or white kidney beans
1 cup of any small pasta (I used shells)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 and half tablespoons of pesto (fresh or store-bought)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan or stock pot.
- Add chopped onions, minced garlic and chopped carrots. Saute till soft.
- Add the pesto and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, followed by oregano and red chilli pepper. Add salt to taste (adjust the quantity as per the salt in the pesto and canned tomatoes).
- Add the beans and saute for a couple of more minutes.
- Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Check seasonings.
- Add pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes till pasta is tender.
Makes 4 main servings.