Pasta & Bean Soup
Round out this hearty soup with toasted whole-wheat country bread and a green salad. For a meatier flavor, add a little crumbled cooked Italian turkey sausage to the soup.
4 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 15 1/2-ounce or 19-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup medium pasta shells or orecchiette
2 cups individually quick-frozen spinach (6 ounces) (see Note)
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
Combine broth, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot; bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to intensify flavor. Meanwhile, mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl.
Scoop garlic cloves and rosemary from the broth with a slotted spoon (or pass through a strainer and return to the pot). Add mashed and whole beans to the broth, along with tomatoes; return to a simmer. Stir in pasta, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in spinach, cover and cook just until the spinach has thawed, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of oil, if desired, and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Makes 6 main-dish servings, 1 1/3 cups each.
Per serving: 205 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 0 g mono); 10 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 5 g fiber; 523 mg sodium…check with your Dr. to determine appropriate sodium level.
Nutrition bonus: 45% daily value vitamin A, 20% dv fiber, 140 mg calcium (15% dv).
Variation: Substitute chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for the cannellini beans; use a food processor to puree them.