Serves 4 to 6
Beans are “heart-healthy” and contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They are loaded with nutrients our bodies crave, such as vitamin B, calcium, potassium, and folate. They are also low in fat, balance blood sugar, and are filled with fiber to help you feel fuller, longer.
Beans offer several health benefits and are a rich source of protein. Adding rice to beans for instance can turn an incomplete protein into a complete one. Beans are filled with antioxidants and help reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.
I eat and serve beans with almost every meal. I add them into salads, whip them smooth to spread on rice cakes, mix them with rice and pasta, and of course, make all kinds of soups. My favorite is one I would like to share with you! PASTA FAGIOLI!
PREPARE THE PASTA FIRST AND SLIGHTLY UNDERCOOK IT SO IT STILL HAS A BITE AND NOT SOFT, SET ASIDE TO ADD TO THE SOUP WHEN IT’S DONEI USED THE FARFALLE PASTA FOR THIS RECIPE!
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup of water
1-28 OZ. can of tomato puree
1 teaspoon each kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. of Stevia
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cups of vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought. If you use store-bought this is the one I recommend
2 -15-ounce cans of TRADER JOE’S, “GREAT NORTHERN BEANS” beans
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese or you can mix 1/2 Parmesan and 1/2 Romano together
10 fresh basil leaves, rolled tightly and sliced thin for garnish
In a soup pot heat the olive oil on medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions; sauté 6 to 8 minutes to release their natural juices. Add the garlic; sauté for 1 minute
Add the wine and cook, reducing the liquid by half
Add the tomatoes paste, and stir while cooking for 1 minute with a wooden spoon for the whole time
Add water and reduce the heat to a low simmer for 5 minutes, stirring at least twice. (IMPORTANT) Keep an eye out you don’t want to burn the tomato paste
Add the tomato puree, vegetable stock, and Stevia
Raise the heat, and bring to a low gentle boil for 45 minutes, and don’t forget to stir several times while simmering
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 200
PLACE YOUR SERVING BOWLS INTO THE OVEN
Add the beans along with their juices, mix gently, and simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat. Add the prepared pasta and heat through for 5 more minutes until the soup gets really hot
Remove the bowls from the oven using oven mitts
Ladle into preheated bowls, garnish with Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper (optional), and basil leaves
Serve with a fresh salad on the side!
If the soup is too thick, just add more broth, ¼ cup at a time. This soup should be smooth and creamy, not thick and sticky!
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