I have a cold, which means I need soup. Hot, thick, comforting soup.
But I don’t feel like going out, especially to a supermarket, to buy the stuff I need for soup.
Fortunately I have a well-stocked cupboard and fridge. I have everything I need to make Bean and Pasta Soup. I am adding Harissa because I want that extra kick of heat to help clear my head.
Here’s some advice to consider: keep certain items in your house so you can always make something delicious to eat when you can’t, or don’t want to shop. Canned or packaged tomatoes, beans, stock, pasta and crisper items such as onions, carrots, celery and lemons are just a few of the staples I stock.
If you don’t have fresh basil, substitute with about a teaspoon of dried oregano; if you don’t have Harissa, add a few drops of Sriracha or Tabasco sauce.
Bean and Pasta Soup with Harissa
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 stalks celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, including liquid
4 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup elbow macaroni
2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, with liquid
1 teaspoon Harissa
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cook for 2 minutes or until softened slightly. Add the tomatoes, stock, basil, parsley and some salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer partially covered for 20 minutes. Add the pasta, beans and Harissa and cook for about 12 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Serve the soup sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes 6 servings.