Can we talk it out? Cool.
I have a problem managing expectations. My own, to be specific. In short, I have too many of them, and they're slowly killing me.
This isn't about my penchant-for-melodrama problem, ironically.
But yeah. This time of year my To-Do lists get frantic and my patience gets short. 'Tis the season? I say heck no. Let's all just calm ourselves down.
And by "ourselves" I mean the crazy lady pausing her shower mid-shampoo to add spur-of-the-moment item to the notepad she keeps in the bathroom, of all places. The psychopath who makes a grocery list for three different stores while putting on makeup and inadvertently leaves the house with only one eye actually done.
That would be me.
I need a little intervention it would seem. A calm-yourself-down-and-live-in-the-moment-and-ENJOY-this-blessed-season brand of intervention.
Enter soup. I'm soooo thankful for these hearty beans, these healthy veggies, this calming broth. I'm soothed beyond words by the simplicity of preparing a healthy meal and pausing to eat it without interruption, without preoccupation, without feeling as though time is wasted. This should happen more often than it does.
This isn't necessarily the most traditional version of Pasta e Fagioli, so don't jump down my throat. It is, however, a healthy and hearty version that combines beans, pasta, herbs, and broth to create a soothing soup perfect for a chilly evening. Don't forget bread for dunking!! That's the best part.
Pasta and Bean Soup
(Pasta e Fagioli)
Adapted from From Harvest to Table
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped fine
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
4 c low-sodium vegetable stock (or chicken, but this will make it non-vegetarian)
1 16-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-oz can of diced tomatoes, in their juices
2/3 c uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni or other small tubular pasta)
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot, stirring until softened (about 7 minutes). Add the basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the vegetable stock, beans, and tomatoes in their juices. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and cover, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
Let the soup stand off-heat for 5 minutes, and then add the fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread and garnish with the Parmesan cheese.