This soup has been waiting to be published for a looong time. With all the holidays bustle of shopping and cookies baking, it got buried under a pile of other recipes and things to do and write about that wouldn’t wait any longer.
It’s been waiting since…. hmmm, 3 weeks ago? It was freezing cold here. The temperatures were in the lower 20’s Fahrenheit during the day and much lower at night. Each time I went outside I thought my nose was going to fall off. However, the days were beautiful and sunny with clear blue sky and the nights were gorgeous too with deep infinite dark blue color, sparkling stars, and a full moon. Then we went back to normal grey and rainy days so typical of winter in Seattle (Gosh, I’ve become quite the weather girl due to this big chill and I’m giving you the weather report…) but every day I see snowy photos from places around the world which reminded me of the big brrrr we just had and, of course, the soup!
While it was so freezing outside, our gas fireplace worked non-stop (although it is programmed to shut off when the temps reach 68 F) and the heating system worked around the clock as well, but it was still chilly in the house. The only truly warm place was in the kitchen by the stove so that’s where I went and what else was left for me to do besides to make soup?!
Now, it’s freezing again. Yesterday I left my car outside instead of parking in the garage as I always do. It had ice all over it, including the windows. I reached for my mittens but they were soooo cold too… I really don’t understand the people who keep all their stuff (I won’t say “junk”) in garage and park their cars outside. I would have put the stuff out and the car in. Luckily, soup is still “in” (better choice of word than “cool”, right?). So here you go, it’s time to take the dust of this soup and share it with you to help you warm up a bit. Lots of veggies, flavors, and textures. Slurp slurp. Life is good!
By the way, I *love* your comments on the cookie post! It gives me a chance to get to you know a little and check out your blog, if you have one. I want you to know that I read each and every comment and e-mail that you readers send me!
To those who have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s a cookie scoop giveaway too! Click here to check it out.
The recipe is based on a recipe by Wolfgang Puck from his cookbook “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy”. I make it even easier.
Use as much of the canned tomato juice as you like. The whole can will make the soup more acidic and tomato-y, and less will… you know… But don’t skip the parmesan and pesto because they really tie up all the flavors together, OK?
Makes 6-8 servings
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion (about 1 cup), peeled and chopped
2-4 oz.bacon or pancetta, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, liquid reserved
1 14-oz. can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed in water and drained again
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/4 cup parsley, leaves on the stems
2 potatoes, peeled and cut to cubes
1-2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and black pepper
1 cup small shaped pasta, uncooked
Pesto, store-bought or home-made
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring from time to time, until the onion is tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the tomatoes with their liquid (see note above), the beans, carrots, celery, parsley, potatoes, zucchini, thyme, salt and pepper. Add water to cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook about 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
About 10 minutes before serving (check the pasta’s cooking instruction on the package), add the pasta to the soup. If the mixture is too thick, add water. Simmer until the pasta is cooked.
Serve and add to each bowl of soup some grated parmesan and pesto.