Monday, September 14, 2015

Recipe Redux: Pasta e Fagioli with Kale

Time for this month's Recipe Redux! I think the soup was in dire need of updated pictures-

That's the funny thing about photography. The more you progress, the more you look back and think, "Why didn't I change this one little thing?" or "Why didn't I add some color to that shot?" or "For the love, just blur that background!". Even while I bemoan the state of my early food photography, I also realize it's a wonderful thing. I shared so many recipes in the early days that are the hubby and I's absolute favorites. I'm enjoying these Redux's, if only to compare how far my photography has come. 

So, for this month, let's talk Pasta e Fagioli. The hubby and I love this soup. Big time LOVE. For one, it's extremely economical to make. It's vegetarian, but don't let that scare you off. It's hearty enough for the biggest appetites, thanks to plenty of pinto beans. Beans are one of my favorite ways to save money in the kitchen. They are full of protein, fiber, and have many other health benefits, plus they are super-filling. It's completely normal for me to make a huge batch of this, and freeze 3 bags of it. It freezes beautifully. You'll be so thankful on a chilly winter night when you've just got home from work and you don't feel like cooking, and all you have to do is pull a bag of soup from the freezer. 

If you do make this soup to freeze, I do have one suggestion. Make the soup, but leave out the pasta. I tend to cook the pasta on the side, so the hubby and I can just ladle pasta into our soup. Pasta doesn't freeze the best, leading it to break into many tiny pieces when you reheat the soup. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does change the texture. And I'm kind of a huge stickler for texture. So leave it out, and simply prepare the pasta fresh when you reheat the soup. I've been known to throw in leftover penne or elbow macaroni, if I have it in the fridge. Another time saver!

When I made this soup this time around, I also added kale. Because, why not? Take it or leave, but I thought the kale was a welcome addition. 

Time to change the subject. I just have to talk about Mariota's Sunday. No, not my Mariota. Marcus Mariota! The real deal. I'm not sure how many of my readers are football fans (no judgement here!), but the hubby and I spent most of yesterday watching football. The hubby is a die-hard Cincinnati Bengals fan, so we tried to watch the Cincy game yesterday. The hard part was Tennessee was playing at the same time, and it was so hard to stop watching Mariota. Wow, what a debut! The hubby and I could hardly tear our eyes away from the performance, let alone change the channel. We couldn't help but feel proud for our #2 draft pick, whose 1st pass in the NFL was a touchdown pass. Compared to that shall-remain-nameless #1 draft pick whose 1st pass in the NFL was an interception. Mwhahaha. Evil Duck fans, we are :)

I hope everyone had a fabulous autumn weekend! Happy Monday!

Ingredients (serves 8-10):

1 lb dried beans (I use pinto)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup ditalini
1 cup kale, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
topping- parmesan cheese (optional)


1. Sort and wash beans. Place in a large Dutch oven. Cover the beans with 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover pot. Let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans, and set aside. 
2. In a large stockpot, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. When warm, add onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes through bay leaf to the pot. Add reserved beans to the pot. Stir. Bring pot to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours and 15 minutes. 
3. Remove bay leaf and discard. Place 2 cups of bean mixture into food processor, pulse until chunky. Add bean mixture back to the pot, stir.
4. Add extra garlic, pasta, and kale to the pot. Simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in the parsley and black pepper.
5. Ladle soup into bowls, top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. 

Link to old recipe
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  1. I cringe when I look back at some of my older photography - especially when I remember how proud of it I was.

    1. I feel you Pam! I do remember how proud of my foodie i-Phone pictures I was. Can't say I use my i-Phone for pictures now! :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your recipes on Snickerdoodle Sunday. Pinned and Tweeted. I think most of us cringe over some of our early photos and posts. It's a learning curve!

    1. Yes, I'm hearing that quite a bit from our little community! Everyone seems to feel the same about their own early photography. Kind of like looking at a dorky high school yearbook photo! :)