Italian Pasta Soup

Italian Pasta Soup

I was in the mood for Fall comfort food tonight, as well as something quick and easy to make for dinner. The last couple of days have been pretty stressful at work, and I wanted to make my life a bit easier. I saw a recipe for Pasta and Lentil soup in the the Food Network Magazine and decided to put my spin on it. It was very, very good and my kids gobbled it up. I didn't add the lentils because I didn't have any, and it still came out great. Next time I may throw some white beans in there, just because. :)

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on your spice level)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
10 oz. orecchiette pasta, or other small pasta
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt
Crusty bread, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. 

Add the chicken broth and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. 

Stir 1/4 cup parmesan and the parsley into the soup; add salt to taste. 

Ladle into bowls and top with additional parmesan. Serve with bread, if desired.

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