Yesterday was one of those days when 4:30 rolls around and you start to wonder, what am I going to make for dinner? If I was better organized, I wouldn't find myself in this mess. There are so many cute ideas on pinterest for menu planning boards. I just don't have space in my kitchen for one, so I have not made one yet.
Well I went to my pantry to see what I could put together. Soup is usually my go to meal on days like these. I saw the Campbell's tomato soup can and thought grilled cheese and tomato soup is always easy, but the hubs really doesn't like tomato soup, even with a yummy grilled cheese for dipping. So I came up with this version of a Pasta Fagioli soup. Basically macaroni and bean soup.I grabbed a few things from the pantry and from my fridge. I always have chicken broth, canned veggies, and beans in my pantry. I usually just buy them when they are on sale, so I always have them in my pantry. I always have onions and carrots in my fridge too. I like celery in my soups but, it goes bad fast so I rarely have it on hand. (If it goes on sale, I will buy celery, chop it up and with some chopped up onions and carrots, I put them in freezer bags and freeze them for later. Then you can put them right into your soup from the freezer.)
I always have pasta in my pantry. I'm not too picky on they type of pasta I use for soups. I will use whatever I have.
Here is the recipe: Liz's Pantry Pasta Fagioli
1/2 onion chopped
handfull of baby carrots chopped
3 cans (14 oz) chicken broth/stock
2 cans white/cannillini beans
1 can diced tomato
1-2 cans mixed veggies or whatever you have (I like more veg in my soups)
3-4 handfulls of pasta
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. basil
dash or two of thyme
To a large stock pot add a TBL or 2 of olive oil, carrots and onions and saute until onions are transparent (I add my salt and pepper at this point, you can always add more later). Add chicken broth, basil, thyme, garlic powder and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add cans of beans, tomatoes, and veggies (including the juices). Stir and bring it back up to a boil. Taste it and see if it needs more salt and pepper. Add pasta. Stir in the pasta, bring to a boil and then turn it to medium heat. Let it simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is fully cooked. REMOVE the bay leaves!! Don't forget this step, you don't want anyone eating those. And it is ready to serve!It turned out delicious! And with a couple of Rhodes warm n serve rolls, you can't beat that for dinner! The kids loved it too! I usually give them a bowl with just noodles, veggies, and beans and they can eat it themselves.
Soup is one of those things that you can kind of add whatever spices you like and it usually turns out. If you like oregano, you can add that to this soup and it would be great! If you don't have bay leaves, I'm sure it would be fine too.
Another thing that I have on hand in my pantry are bottles of canned meat that my SIL and I did last year. They are wonderful to have on hand and I use them quite often. If I didn't have white beans, I would've added some canned chicken and had chicken noodle soup. I use the hamburger and a couple cans of beans and tomatoes to make chili all the time. Also good for spaghetti. The beef is great for green chili burros and french dip sandwiches. They may not look very pretty, but the meat is tender and they taste good.