Do you know the old folk lore of Stone Soup? Will here is how it goes:
Some travelers come to a village, carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making “stone soup”, which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all (credit: Stone Soup).
I am not a traveler, but I do have a cooking pot that does not have a stone in it. Please enjoy my version of Pasta Fagioli.
Here is what you will need:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 – 4 medium-sized garlic cloves, finely minced
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil (1 tablespoon fresh)
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped seeds and pulp removed
2 medium tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed, pureed
¾ cups uncooked Ditalini or elbow pasta
1 can cannellini beans with liquid
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and onions and sauté until tender, but not mushy. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to one minute. Do not brown.
Add 2½ cups of chicken broth to pot. Season with oregano, basil, rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add chopped and pureed tomatoes to pot. Simmer on low for 20 – 25 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until tender. Approximately 10 minutes.
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