HEARTY BEAN AND PASTA SOUP
- 3 T olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots (approx 1 carrot)
- 1/4 cup chopped celery (approx 1 stalk)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 16 oz can diced tomatoes (I use petite cut)
- 16 oz white kidney beans (aka cannellini beans)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- dash of pepper
- 1 1/4 cup uncooked macaroni (we used barilla plus macaroni for extra healthiness ;) )
In a large pot, saute carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in oil over a low heat until onions are translucent and carrots are almost cooked.
Add tomatoes and immer uncovered until 1/2 of tomato liquid evaporates
Add pepper, beans and broth. Simmer covered for 15 minutes
Mash soup with a potato masher (we tried with other kitchen implements and finally gave in and bought the masher--much easier!)
Bring to a boil and add macaroni. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn off heat.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Helpful hint: Don't cook pasta more than 5 minutes or it will get mushy. It finishes cooking in the 10 minutes of standing.