I feel like I’m posting a lot of soups lately! Nick and I eat a lot of soup, thus, you get to see all the soups we are eating. Today is another vegetarian soup. It’s packed with plenty of protein from two cans of beans and loads of flavor. Of course, throwing in a little pasta doesn’t hurt anything in my book. And if you wanted to make this a meaty soup, some andouille sausage would taste great. Maybe that suggestion popped into my head because I made this right around Mardi Gras, but as I heated up the leftovers during my lunch break at work, I thought that would make a great non-vegetarian version of this soup! Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!
Pasta, Bean and Vegetable Soup
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more to garnish
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 14-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup dried penne pasta
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese, to serve
Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, add 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until just tender. Meanwhile, soak the dried mushrooms in 3/4 cup warm water for 15-20 minutes.
Put the lentils in a sieve to drain, then rinse under cold water. Drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes. Cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, then the mushrooms and their soaking liquid.
Bring to a boil, then add the kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Add the pasta and bring the soup back to a boil, stirring. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 7-8 minutes or according to the package instructions, until the pasta is tender. Check the seasoning, and serve hot, sprinkled with the parsley and Parmesan.