Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One warm post...

So dinner last night came from the best inspiration around:  The lady on the bottom left hand corner of this pictureJ  
Yep!  That's my Grandmom (and that little blinking chick...yep, that's me back in the dayJ)  So since I have been DROP DEAD LOVVVVVVVVVVING SOUPS lately (if you haven't noticed!), combined with the fact that it was VERYYYYY CHILLY yesterday, my mind swirled at what kind of soup I wanted to try my hand at last night.  And despite previously purchasing all of the ingredients for my beloved Apple Cheddar Soup, I just could NOT get past the idea of a WARM bowl of pasta fagioli (pasta & beans) soup....
Now, my Grandmother is probably (AGAIN) somewhere cursing me because I probably stamped my foot every time she made this back in the day (sorry, Grandma!), but I think she'd be happy that for at least one day, I carried on her tradition of making soups on MondaysJ  (I said to Scott: "My Grandmother always made soups on Mondays, and we always makes salads."  To which he said:  "Yeah, but she probably didn't eat as bad as we do on the weekends."  The man speaks the truthJ)  hhahhahahaha

So annyyyyyywayy....after REPEATEDLY getting a busy signal while trying to call my Aunt to get a recipe for the soup (my family who's reading this KNOWS who I'm talking about!J) hahahahahaha, I decided to scour the internet and see what I could come up with. 

And ya know what I came up with???  Tons of recipes with ingredients like pancetta, fresh rosemary & thyme sprigs. 


Don't get me wrong, I love pancetta & fresh rosemary as much as the next girl, but from what I remember Pasta Fagioli is that it's sort of a "peasants dish" and I don't remember "specialty ingredients" ever being tossed into my Grandma's soup.  (nor do I think my Great Grandmother raising 6 kids had any layin around eitherJ) hahahahaha....so I did what I figured they would have done:  I made my soup with stuff I had laying around the kitchenJ

First into the pot went:
  •  1 diced onion
  • 1 peeled & diced carrot
  • 2 diced celery stalks
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper 
Cook everything together until the onions are tranlucent...

Next, I added a can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes (breaking them with my spoon as they cooked...) 

I also added about 5 cups of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of tomato pasta & a rouge leftover bag of frozen peas I had in my freezer (now actually changing the name of the soup to Pasta Piselli-pasta & peas...but whateverJ).  I brought the liquid to a boil and then let it simmer on low for 15 minutes. 

Next came my little "untraditional" part.  Pasta Fagioli is normally made with ditalini (small tubes) or elbow pasta, but I had recently saw a recipe for soup made with Orecchiette and knew I had to try it.  I'll show you why in a secJ 
I added about 1/2 a bag of the pasta to the soup and let it cook on high for about 10 minutes.

Finally...the "fagioli" part of the soup:  a drained & rinsed can of both red & cannellini beans... 
Stir it all up & cook for 3 minutes or until the beans are warmed through.

Result:  HEARTY AND THICK SOUP PACKED with pasta & beans!  Just FABULOUS!!!!!! 

A little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese... 

...and one too many slices of fresh Italian bread and we called it dinner. 

Oh man...it was just SOOO warm & cozy.  AND FILLING!  And here's the fun part:  the orecchiette makes little "bowls" to catch all extra beans, soup & peas!  Fun, right??
You MUST try this out.....although I WILL get that "official" family recipe from my Aunt (when she's not gypsying around!) and see how it compares to mine.  Watch her tell me to go out and get pancetta... J

So anyways...I have one more treats to show you from my chilly day!  So prior to yesterday, my last experience with European hot chocolate was while FREEZING waiting in line to climb to the top of the Notre Dame in Paris.  Brrrrr....it was SO cold standing in the shadow of that cathedral!J

Butttttt....I found a pretty comparable duplicate to this chocolate delight and it won't require a passport or an exchange to Euros!  Yes, my beloved Bent Spoon makes a pretty DEAD accurate carbon copy of this SINFUL & luscious treat. 
Image thick chocolate pudding warmed & covered with a mound of fresh vanilla bean whipped cream.  Yep....it's as amazing and sinful as it sounds.  TOTALLY decadent and unlike any standard hot chocolate you've ever tried this side of the Atlantic.  If you're in the area and in the need to kick a serious chocolate craving...give it a whirl!  (PS-I'll let you know how it compares to ROMAN hot cocoa in a couple weeksJ)

Alright...that's one warm postJ  Wish I had ALL of the above as I tried to slink out of my bed this morning to do some yoga!  It was chilllyJ  Anyone else REFUSE to turn the heat on yet???? 

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!


Life of a Foodie and Her Family said...

Your soup looks amazing! As for turning on the heat...maybe around January. I wish it would cool off enough to shut off our AC and open the windows. Maybe in a few more weeks. But the upside is that my daughter does not have to bundle up on Halloween. ;o)

Family coupons said...

That's a nice meal idea for any time of year. The entire fmaily should enjoy having it.

I am sure that I would really enjoy it on a cool evening. The pasta would warm me right up, especially if served with bread fresh from the oven.

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