Recipe Trial: Pasta Fagioli with Zucchini Soup

The recipe trials continue!  I’m not a whiz enough to come up with recipes on my own from scratch so I scour books, blogs and Pinterest for recipes that I like the looks of and that are healthy, easy and made with fresh ingredients to try out in my kitchen.  If it’s too hard for me to make or doesn’t taste great, you bet I won’t make it again and I’ll let you know here.  But if it’s easy and delicious, I also love to share that too!

This week I chose a recipe from a cookbook my delightful mama gave me for Christmas.  It’s called weeknight wonders by Ellie Krieger.  She claims quick and nutritious meals for dinner in less than 30 minutes.  We’ll see about that!

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I’m a visual person so a recipe with a photo is 138x more likely to be made by me.  I like to see what ingredients are in it and get a gauge of what it will look like all at once.  This book doesn’t have photos for many of the recipes (which I understand, that can add so much work to publishing) but I found one that did to try.

I’m still not eating meat, just to see how I do without it and wanted something that was warm for these chillier Tulsa nights, and able to freeze since I’m traveling a lot this month.

Taste: 6/10

Simplicity: 8/10

Total time: 37 minutes

Tools You’ll Need

Cutting board

Sharp knife

1 cup measuring cup

Soup pot

Stove

Can opener

Cheese grater

 

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

Garlic (I used pre-minced)

3 Zucchini, chopped

1 can of white beans (I used Navy)

1 can of diced tomatoes (I used 2, with seasonings)

3 cups of vegetable broth

Salt

Pepper

Parsley for garnish

First, pour yourself a glass of wine and turn on a Spotify station to keep you company.  I chose Hot Country this week.  Chop the onion and place into the soup pot with the olive oil in the bottom.  Cook for 3-5 minutes before adding garlic.  I put in 2 Tbsps of pre-minced.  Turn the heat to low and let these flavors mingle for the time it takes you to open your can of beans.  The recipe called for rinsing and draining but I pretty much just open it, keep the can covered to drain out the extra juice and dump it in the pot.  I can’t say I’ve ever rinsed a can of beans in my life even though every single recipe tells me to.  Rebel am I.

Stir those ingredients together and let them get to know each other just long enough to open and add the 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes.  I chose two because I love tomatoes.  Then pour in the 3 cups of veggie broth.

That all happens pretty quick.  The next part is what took me the longest – chopping the zucchini.  I don’t really have an efficient method for chopping squash and I was also a little distracted by my adorable helper so this took the bulk of the time.  Add chopped veggie to the soup pot and bring to a boil.  Once all the ingredients are boiling, turn the stove down to low and let them blend for 20 minutes (great time to clean up and grate the parmesan cheese!).  This is also where Ellie added elbow macaroni but I didn’t want to so I didn’t.  But if you do want it, add a cup before letting the soup sit for 20 minutes.  Pre-simmering, time spent adding ingredients to pot was just over 12 minutes.

On this particular round of cooking, I roasted some brussels sprouts to toss in a caesar dressing while I waited, and managed to get some dishes cleaned.  I also grated the parmesan cheese to add to the soup at the end – about half a cup, plus more for garnish.

Once the 20 minute timer dings, add the grated cheese to the soup and stir, saving some for garnish.  Top with a sprinkle of parsley and serve hot.

I’m not crazy about the soup but it’s not horrible either.  I’m not going to toss it out but will likely freeze whatever I don’t eat tonight.  There’s a strong tomato flavor (obviously, I added and extra can) which is fine with me but the zucchini and beans don’t add much.  I LOVE how many veggies are in one serving though so that’s a plus.  And it was filling with the beans and squash.   I may experiment with some additional spices next time or if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

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3 thoughts on “Recipe Trial: Pasta Fagioli with Zucchini Soup

  1. I love that you drink a glass of wine as you cook. That is definitely me, it’s my happy place… creating and sipping and usually listening to some good music! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. It looks like a deliciously warming bowl of goodness, despite the taste factor being a little less than you’d want. As for tips? I make a similar soup to this but always start by frying off the onion and garlic, finely chopped chilli, some rosemary (usually fresh finely chopped but dried would do), thyme and some parsley stalks – woody, robust herbs go wonderfully in Mediterranean cooking. I also tend to chuck in the rind from some parmesan cheese which gradually flavours the ‘stock’. Maybe add some finely chopped carrot and celery as a flavouring base? I think that’s commonplace for many Italian soups. As for rinsing beans, I always do that. Mostly as the brine has additional salt (which may mess with my seasoning levels) and sometimes preservative agents which I want to get rid of. However, I’ve recently found that the brine from chickpeas can be used as an egg substitute! How good is that? It’s called Aquafaba if you want to try it (if you haven’t already!). Great post 🙂

    • Wow! What amazing tips 😀 I’m no whiz in the kitchen but I do love being in there. It’s all trial and error for me but I will have to try some of those out. Thanks for stopping by!

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