A load of vegetables, beans, and herbs provide rich flavor and substance to this low-fat soup. With a crusty roll and some fruit, it can be the centerpiece of a nutritious meal. Which you can enhance with chunks of chicken, ham, or just more beans. When it’s a special ingredient, some identifying information is listed in parentheses to highlight a worthwhile product that can enhance this dish and others you may cook. Dried Mexican oregano, for instance, is usually sold in cellophane packages. Or McCormick Schilling also sells it in regular spice bottles. When adding it to a dish, rub the leaves briskly between fingertips to bring out the flavor and smokiness. Once all ingredients are prepped, the soup comes together in just 15 minutes.
- 4 servings
- 1 7-ounce bag Miracle Noodle Ziti, prepared according to package directions
- 21/4 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably Swanson’s organic), divided
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced celery (about 1 large stalk)
- 1/3 cup small dice of seeded zucchini
- 1/3 cup 1/3-inch pieces trimmed green beans
- 1/3 cup 1/3-inch cubes carrot
- 1/3 cup 1/3-inch dice red bell pepper
- 2 large crimini mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (such as Hunts)
- ½ cup drained (not rinsed) canned cannellini beans
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano (preferably Mexican)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds (or use a mallet to crush the seeds in a plastic bag)
- 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (flakes)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Reggiano), divided
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil
- Prepare the ziti according to the package directions. Cut any long ziti into 1-inch pieces for the soup.
- Combine ½ cup broth and oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add celery and next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil over medium=high heat. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and cook gently 4 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are barely tender.
- Add remaining chicken broth, diced tomatoes with juice, beans, and next 5 ingredients. Simmer the soup uncovered 10 minutes, or until flavors blend and liquids are slightly reduced, stirring occasionally. Mix in ¼ cup cheese and basil. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Ladle soup into shallow bowls. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.
Red Bell Pepper
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