Saturday, September 5, 2009

quick lunch

This is one of my new favorite soups. I got the idea watching Everyday Food last weekend, and loved the recipe when I followed it exactly, but I decided it needed a little more heft, so I added a few of my favorite things and used cannellini beans instead of chickpeas. I liked the texture a little better for soup. And last night, I poached a chicken and made homemade chicken broth, so it was perfect timing to have this for lunch today. Making your own broth is so easy, and it will last pretty much indefinitely in your freezer, so it's really worth it. But of course, if you don't have homemade broth or stock, use the packaged stuff. My favorite brand is Pacific. And use the low-sodium stuff. If you love soup, you're going to love this one. It's super simple and fast, and tastes like you've been cooking all day.

Hearty Cannelini Bean and Pasta Soup
Serves 4~6
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or you could use chickpeas if you like)
1 C elbow macaroni or other small shaped pasta
1 C cooked shredded or chopped chicken, white or dark meat
3 small or 1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and diced small
4 C chicken broth or stock
2 C water
salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
finely grated parmesan cheese (I used Pecorino Romano in the picture)
chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a large pot, bring the chicken broth and water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 2~3 minutes, until slightly cooked through. Add the pasta and cook for another 5 minutes, until slightly firm.
  2. Add the chicken and beans and let simmer for another minute until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve with cheese and parsley.
This recipe freezes really well, but because the pasta will just keep absorbing the liquid it doesn't refrigerate really well. So if you have leftovers, place individual portions in freezer-safe containers and place in the freezer.

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