Pasta and Bean Soup

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This was an excellent pot of soup for an excellent cause. Branny Boils Over is hosting a Charity Souper Bowl event to raise money for the ASPCA. So, this little post is going to be helping out some animals that really need it. How could I pass up that opportunity?

I couldn’t – especially with this one in my life:

That’s Kali – one of our two cats. (She likes hanging out with her fellow tuxedo buddy.) Mark and I are both strong believers in animal adoption; we got Kali last January and bringing her into the family was one of the best decisions we ever made. She’s such a little love. And, she helped with this pot of soup by batting dropping carrot pieces around the kitchen. Stuff like that is par for the course around here.

The soup itself is wonderful – packed with veggies and perfect for lunch on a cold day. It comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner too. It’s also quite figure-friendly – the original recipe (linked below) clocks in at 218 calories per each 1 1/2 c. serving. I made a few small adjustments to the original recipe but the number of calories in this version should be close.

Pasta and Bean Soup
(from Light & Tasty, February/March 2006)
Serves 5

1 c. uncooked small pasta
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. water
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz. cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 t. dried basil
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded fresh spinach

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saucepan, saute the celery, carrots, onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in the water, tomatoes, broth, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Drain pasta; stir into vegetable mixture. Add the beans; heat through. Stir in spinach; cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.


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