It’s cold this morning and I’ve shuffled about the kitchen getting coffee and contemplating turning the furnace on for the first time this season. Well, it IS October 15th! I suppose there must come a time for depending on foreign oil again, but today, I think I will pull out the olive oil and throw together a big pot of soup to stave off the cold that this ‘Canadian high’ pushes toward New England. Yes, it’s the perfect day to make soup …
Think about it! Soup is the easiest and most soul-satisfying brew appropriate for all age groups (I say this for the topers in the crowd… you know who you are)! There are countless references to the sustenance of soup – Oliver Twist pushed his bowl forward for more ‘gruel’, Pooh waxed eloquent the power of a ‘sustaining soup’, a wise Granny prepared a ‘stone soup’ that satisfied, refugees and war prisoners have survived on meager soups that kept a spark of life and energy alive for one more day, Seinfeld and his urban cohorts stood in line for their daily fix from the Soup Nazi’s storefront, countless folk have lovingly prepared ‘Jewish penicillin’ for a friend who was sick and needed a warm broth. I could go on; don’t tempt me!
Soup… the ultimate comfort food! And on that note, I share my ‘soup for the day’. Perhaps you will be inspired to throw together a pot of Pasta e Fagioli or go to your recipes and pull your favorite to have steaming on the stove when you gather for dinner. My recipe comes from our family cookbook … I pass it lovingly to any and all! If you choose one of your favorite recipes for supper tonight, I hope you share it with any... and all!
So, back to the soup ...
Ditalini ... tiny pasta perfect for this soup ...
Instead of canned, I'll use some of the last of the garden plum tomatoes.
1 ½ c. white beans soaked for several hours
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
½ lb. ham, finely chopped
2 qts. Water
2 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped and squashed through your fingers into the pot
2 generous tsp. tomato paste
salt and pepper, to taste
generous pinches of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika
½ c. tiny pasta (ditalini or orzo are good choices)
extra olive oil
1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
Making the Soup: