Well, it's time for our second installment of;
Cook-along Episode 2
The Christmas song: Baby It's Cold Outside comes to mind today. It's cold out there..I'm talking really cold. So the only thing to do...is make soup. Luckily...I think... for me I have an entire cookbook of new and exciting soup recipes to try out. The tricky part is...will my kids eat it? Life is not as difficult now when it comes to getting the wee ones to eat new and interesting things...aka vegetables, although I will confess to helping my Youngest to eat. She still gets spoonfuls of food from me as well as what she spoons into her mouth herself, to ensure that she is actually getting nourished.
So let's get going...I will say that I didn't follow the recipe exactly as called for. But, as the cook that's my choice. If I'm going to make a batch of food, I prefer that it last at least 2 meals. So I increased some proportions. I'll give you what I did as well as what Karen Ferre's recipe calls for. Also, the thing to remember here is...it's just soup. So do what feels right. If it looks like it doesn't have enough liquid...go ahead and add some. If you think it needs more veg...add those too! You're most likely not going to ruin it. I mean, I guess you might...but you probably won't. So don't fret the details too much.
Pasta Fagoli Soup
Karen Ferre courtesy of the Battlecreek 4th Ward Pleasant Grove, Utah cookbook
1 lb. Very lean ground beef (I used 1.5 lb 93% lean)
1 onion chopped (ditto)
4 C. Beef broth (ditto)
2 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used my own home-made bottled tomatoes 2 quarts)
1 16 oz can kidney or northern beans, drained (I used two cans of kidney beans, drained)
1 16 oz can red beans, drained (I used one 16 oz can White Kidney beans, drained)
1 C. Carrots, julienne (I used approximately 2 C. carrots...and no way were they julienned, they were roughly chopped.)
1 C. Celery, diced (ditto)
1 tsp basil (I gave it a good-sized dash of basil, dried)
2 lg garlic cloves, minced (I used 3)
1/2 tsp pepper (me, to taste)
1/2 tsp salt (me, to taste...but I'm guessing I used more)
1/2 tsp oregano (Me, a good sized dash. Probably more than this)
1 tsp marjoram, dried (ditto)
2 T. Parsley (ditto, dried)
1 C. uncooked macaroni (I think I did 1.5 C)
She gives us some options with the soup and here they are...
1/8 tsp ground red pepper aka cayenne. (I declined this option...my kids aren't really into spicy)
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder (I also declined this option...it's not chili and so I didn't want chili powder. I wanted honest to goodness soup)
2 T. Worchestershire sauce (I did use this option as I think it gives the soup a more beefy flavor)
Garlic Salt to taste (I also used this as I like it a little more garlicy
In a large stock pot, add a bit of oil, I use canola, over medium heat, add your diced onion and saute til translucent. Add your beef and some salt and pepper and brown. Add the garlic when the beef is cooked through and let it cook for approximately 30 seconds. Really, what you're looking for here is to smell the garlic...but don't over cook it because if it burns, life as we know it will end.
Add the carrots and celery and allow to cook for a few minutes as you open cans and assemble the remaining ingredients.
Add everything else, except for the macaroni which is going to go in at the last. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. I simmered, uncovered, for about 50 minutes. Up your temperature to medium high and bring your soup to a nice rolling boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender. I cooked it for about 10 minutes, I think. She recommends 12-15. (I read the instructions on the box and followed those instead...I didn't want soggy pasta). Make sure during this period of rolling boil that you Stir, Stir, Stir. If you don't, you will have pasta clumps. And that ain't pretty. You don't want your noodles to stick together, so vigorous stirring will not only improve the tone in your arms, it will also keep your noodles separated.
Yum time! I served this with some hearty bread sticks and we each got a Clementine.
What the Kidlettes have to say:My Oldest: Pocahontas Awesome...(she's really into Pocahontas right now)
My Youngest: It's pink!! (which believe it or not is a compliment). And...Licious!
What the Man of the house has to say:A million times better than Tuna Jello
So there you have it. My kids loved it. My husband loved it. And I loved it. Very tasty and filling. A perfect pot of soup.
If you don't want the leftovers, I would say go with the original recipe, but if you're like me and don't want to cook again in the next couple of days, make the bigger pot!
Thanks for coming along for the MoCoCo ride!
Swoon Pic of the day
And I love it ! This is the very first Swoon block I ever made. And I still love it even after having made 9 of them. I love the complimentary colors. I love the British cat people. I love the brightness. It's just love right here.
Thanks for reading!