I went outside of my comfort zone on this one and you know what? I was quite pleasantly surprised. This is one bowlful of fall/winter LOVE. Originally, I thought I wouldn't like this soup simply because it sounded like it needed to have sausage in it for it to be substantial enough, (even though it has garbanzo beans in it, which I love). I was so wrong! Warm, comforting, and fulfilling is all I can tell you. If you get snow where you are, this is a real warmer upper. For those of you unfamiliar, in Italian ceci is garbanzo.
This is all I,I,I,-ME,ME,ME as Michael is not a fan of beans, nor is he much of a soup fan. I, on the other hand am a fan of both. I have an entire shelf in our freezer in the garage dedicated to a soup stash for the winter. It is now half filled and I still have more I want to make and blog. Coming up in the near future I will be blogging my Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soups (already in there keeping my Potato Soup company). I also am wanting to make some French Onion Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and some varieties of chowders (Corn Chowder is one) to stash away for these cold winter days ahead.
This really is a simple recipe. It takes no time to cook if you prep your veggies in advance. The reward is priceless. If you would like to, you could add a grilled sandwich or salad to this and call it a meal. I found it to be perfect for lunch with some good bread for dipping. Anyway you decide to serve this up, you will surely be as surprised as I was. Also, if you are a vegetarian you can certainly adapt this recipe to your own dietary needs.
Pasta e Ceci
Courtesy Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Pasta
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)
3 ounces pancetta, chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1(14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
3/4 cup ditalini (thimble-shaped pasta)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Wrap the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure closed with kitchen twine. Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, and herb sachet. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet.
Transfer 1 cup of the bean mixture to a blender and reserve. Add the ditalini to the soup pot, cover and bring the liquid back to a boil. Boil gently until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Puree the reserved bean mixture until smooth, then stir the puree into the boiling soup. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some Parmesan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.(I cut the recipe in half, unsure of whether I would like it)
This could be spiced up a bit with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you wish. I will be trying that with my next bowl.
I am submitting this to:
I Heart Cooking Clubs Fall Favorites with Giada
Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday's
Presto Pasta Night #191 hosted by Denise at Oh Taste n See originated by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast
Carla and Michael