This recipe is adapted from none other than Rachel Ray, one of my favorite TV chefs. Guy Fieri is another. I just love it when I can watch two cooking shows on a Sunday morning and have my menu made for the first part of the week. So, thank YOU Guy and Rachel!
It has become rare that I don't end up tweaking a recipe, even from famous chefs like Guy or Rachel. We all have different tastes, and, sometimes I don't have everything that the recipe calls for, so I improvise. And, this week's recipe, an Italian bean & pasta fagioli, did get the ol' c-swee treatment. You can find Rachel's original recipe here if you're interested. I'm sure hers is good too . . . just a guess! ;)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3-4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 stems of rosemary, stripped and chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
1/4 t sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1 15oz can cannellini, navy or great northern beans
1 15oz can chick peas
1 6oz can tomato paste w/basil, garlic & oregano
4 cups chicken stock (I used Emeril's All Natural)
2 cups water
1 cup mini brown rice penne, uncooked
1 lemon zested and juiced
Handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat.
- Chop the carrot, celery, onions, garlic, and rosemary, dumping them in as you go. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper, and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 7-8 minutes.
- Stir in the beans and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the stock and water, then cover and bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta and let simmer in the soup for 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
- Turn off the heat, and add the lemon zest, lemon juice and the parsley.
(NOTE: The photo above and to the right is day 2 - you can see that it is more like a stew than soup because the pasta absorbed lots of the broth. To avoid this, cook the pasta in a separate pot and add as needed. If you like it thick, Rachel says you can fry up the thick stew in a skillet for a completely different kind of meal, too!)