This hearty soup is not only well-seasoned but very healthy as well. Imagine coming in out of the cold to a steaming bowl of this tasty offering from Brenda Hyde on the late Practical Kitchen site. It's so fast to prepare, you can practically welcome yourself in out of the cold.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounce can tomato paste
2 cans (15 oz) Great Northern beans, undrained
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (Note #1)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (Note #1)
2 cans (14 1/2 ounce) chicken broth (Note #2)
3 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup small pasta shells (Note #3)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Parmesan Cheese, optional
In a large pan, heat oil; sauté garlic until light golden. Stir in tomato paste, beans and liquid, and the herbs. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and water then bring to boil. Add pasta and black pepper. Cook for 8 minutes; stirring occasionally, or until pasta is tender. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.
Note #1: 1 scant tablespoon of dried herbs may be used it the fresh ones aren't available. Fresh is much tastier (and healthier), however.
Note #2: If you have prepared our chicken broth you can add 29 oz. or 3 2/3 cups of it, instead of the canned stuff. Or reconstitute that amount from powdered broth mix.
Note #3: Naturally, if you don't have small pasta shells on hand, you can substitute any other small pasta.