It’s not “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” in this soup that makes it a standout. It is the garlic, basil, thyme and rosemary that waft through the air as the aroma of freshly made Sicilian Bean Soup simmers away on the stovetop.
For sometime now I have been an advocate of soups for dinner. It started with a simple Chicken Noodle fascination, but then it led to a Soup and Salad Diet while the hubby and I were engaged. Especially if you’re a harried mom, like me, using a few quick staples can allow you to pull together a fabulous meal with little prep but lots of satisfaction.
Now there are many lovely elements to a soup, such as health benefits and dimensional flavor without a lot of work. But I think one of the best qualities of soup is that it forces you to slow down and take a deep breath and savor it slowly. Much of my life suffers from the perpetual list of daily activities, and when it comes to mealtime, I feel forced to get it done as fast as possible. But soup forces me to slow down.
Although Pasta e Fagioli is a pretty varied soup in Italy, different regions have their own spin on it, it’s really considered a peasant’s soup. Ultimately, this is because all of the ingredients are pretty easily found on the farm and it can be diluted to last for days. In my version of this dish I’ve replaced the pancetta with ground chicken. Some recipes for this soup include tomatoes. However, the versions that I have enjoyed the most have not included them, so I left them out.
Keep Your eye out for more soups to come from me this season. It’s such an easy mis-week meal I can’t resist.
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 an onion diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced
14 oz. low-sodium canned white beans
32 oz. chicken stock
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh basil sliced thin (here’s a tip: use your kitchen scissors to cut it directly into the pot)
1 cup dry small pasta, like elbow or ditalini
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
1. In a large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat saute the garlic and olive oil for a minute or until fragrant. Then cook the ground chicken and sliced onions until the meat is cooked through. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
2. At this point pour in the chicken broth, the water, the beans, the carrots and the herbs. Raise the heat and let it come to a boil.
3. Then toss in the pasta and cook according to the directions, about 7 minutes for the elbows I used.
4. Serve this topped with a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese in each bowl. Yes, you read right! We Sicilians like our cheese:)