You know your friends are good friends when you make a soup, take it for dinner and it looks like mush and they eat it anyway :)
Yes, it looks like mush, but it tastes great! And they weren't just being nice. They actually requested that I leave the soup behind so they could have it for lunch.
I found the recipe on www.barefeetinthekitchen.com. Mary Younkin is the author of this blog and there are tons of recipes to peruse and try. today's soup is Three Bean Minestrone Soup. As usual, I made a few changes. Here's the original recipe with my changes in red.
Three Bean Minestrone Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped small, about 2 cups
8 cups beef stock or 8 cups water plus 3 tablespoons beef base
I used vegetable stock
15 ounce can tomato sauce
6 carrots, sliced 1/4" thick, about 3 cups worth
4 stalks celery, trimmed and sliced 1/4" thick, about 2 cups worth
14 ounce can kidney beans
14 ounce can navy beans or white beans
14 ounce can black beans
I used garbanzo beans rather than the black beans
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
I eliminated both spices and used 2 teaspoons of Herbs De Provence
1 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste (I added another 1/2 teaspoon, because my beef stock wasn't very salty at all)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked pasta, I used a brown rice penne pasta
finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Optional: 1 lb Italian or hot sausage
I did not add meat to this soup
Place the oil in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.* Add the onions, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and saute until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the beef stock, tomato sauce, beans, carrots, celery and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then cook for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Cook the pasta while the soup is simmering. Place a scoop of cooked pasta in each bowl and then ladle the hot soup over the pasta. Top with Parmesan just before serving. Enjoy!
* If you are including meat in the soup, start by cooking and crumbling the meat and then skip the oil and add the onions.
So, a little word to the wise...especially if you are not serving the soup immediately, do not add the pasta until you are ready to serve the soup. That's why my soup looks like mush. It's good tasting mush :), but mush nonetheless. When the soup was reheated, the pasta started to fall apart.
If you can find Herbs de Provence, I HIGHLY recommend getting some and keeping them on hand. They are a lovely addition to lots of recipes. I like to cut up small red potatoes, sprinkle them with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, powdered garlic and Herbs de Provence. I then roast them in the oven until golden brown. Fabulous!
So...if you do end up with mush, hopefully your friends will be as gracious as mine and give your soup a try anyway!