A more flavorful way to beat ills

Published 10:58 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The flu is upon us along with all sorts of other contact viruses and colds. Rest and chicken soup is probably what the doctor has ordered along with other stay-at-home remedies. Even though it’s good for you, you are probably tired of the same old chicken noodle soup.

I found a recipe the other day and played around with it, like I always do. I came up with a very cozy soup to help with those dreadful feelings a cold can bring on. It’s best with the chicken broth for what ails you but you can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.

White Bean Pasta Soup

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4 (14 oz. Cans) Chicken or Vegetable Broth

3 cans of best northern beans drained

1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans drained (optional)

1 tbs of olive oil

2 tbs of fresh or dried rosemary tied up in a cheese cloth, gauze, or a knee high hosiery sock (optional)

1 tbs tomato paste

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs ground cumin

1 pinch of white pepper

salt to taste (you don’t need much)

1 and a half cups of ditalini or other small pasta

In a large pot put the broth and oil on to boil. Add all the spices including the rosemary.

Drain the 4 cans of beans and add them to the boiling broth. Boil on high for about 10 minutes.

Remove about a cup of beans and a cup of liquid from the pot and put in the blender or food processor along with the tomato paste and blend well. If you want a thicker soup, add more beans to this step.

Add the liquefied soup back to the pot and bring back to a boil for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pasta and cook on high for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer for about 10 more minutes. Remove the rosemary and give the soup a good stir.

Ladle your soup out and add a spoon of sour cream, cheese, or just leave it alone and eat with crackers. This soup is like a warm blanket to curl up with when it’s raining, cold, or you just don’t feel good. It is so comforting.

Just remember – especially at this time of year – to wash your hands, take your vitamins, stay hydrated and eat good-for-you foods so we can try to stay well.

Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.

Laura Clements is the manager of Kafe Buzz