Brrr! It is cold and windy here in the Ozarks tonight! I must admit, I LOVE it when the weather finally turns from fall to winter. Don’t get me wrong, fall is by far my favorite season, but there is something so peaceful about the short, dark and COLD days of winter. I guess it gives me a good excuse to stay home, pour a big mug of hot tea, curl up on the sofa with a good book or food magazine and VEG! It also makes me crave a nice big bowl of hearty soup! Honestly, tonight was one of those perfect nights for chili, but the sensible side of me decided I better scan the contents of the fridge first to see if there was a smarter decision. Glad I did! I had an unusually large amount of baby spinach left for this late in the week. I chalk that up to the fact that I have been digging the spinachless matcha smoothies at breakfast the past couple of days instead of my usual spinach based drinks. Maybe it is time to change that up a bit and give matcha/spinach a try?? What do you think??
Anyway, I decided to go with a super simple tomato-based spinach and bean soup. Sorta like a pasta fagioli without the meat? After my husband took a peek at my latest creation he commented that it actually reminded him of an Italian wedding soup, minus the sausage. I agree! It definitely LOOKED similiar, but I CAN’T stand the taste of wedding soup (probably the sausage?), so to me, that is where the similarities end. This soup had such a simple tomatoey, rosemary, sort of hard-to-describe, yet addicting flavor! Even though my hubby was full after the first bowl, he liked it so much he went back for seconds! Don’t worry, there is plenty for leftovers for tomorrow–I can’t wait! I served it with a crusty french bread and an full bodied oatmeal stout from my hubbies homebrew collection! Wonderful, just wonderful! Now it is time for me to get back to my book and enjoy some much anticipated sofa time! Bon Appetit!
White bean and spinach soup
- 6 c chicken or veg broth
- 4 shallots or 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 T garlic, minced
- 2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1-2 t ground rosemary
- 1 T dried basil
- 1 T dried oregano
- 1 t freshly ground black pepper
- 1 t chipotle pepper flakes (or more if you want a little extra heat)
- 2 14 oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 14 oz cans great northern white beans
- 6 c fresh baby spinach, cleaned
- 1 c. whole wheat macaroni or your favorite noodle
- 1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 T EVOO
In a big stew pot heat over med low. Add the EVOO, chipotle pepper flakes, and rosemary for about 1 minute–until you can smell the rosemary. Add the shallots (onion), basil, black pepper, and oregano and cook for 3-4 minutes–until the shallots begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and turn up the heat to medium high. Add the canned tomatoes and let cook until the broth begins to boil. Add the beans (with the juice from the can) and once again bring it to a boil. Stir in the pasta and bring it back to a boil. You can turn the heat down a touch and just simmer it now for 10-12 minutes. In the last couple of minutes of the cook time add the spinach and most of the cheese, reserving just enough cheese to use as a garnish. Serve and ENJOY!