This hearty soup is made with acini di pepe, the "peppercorn" pasta. The pasta pieces are "tiny and rice shaped," according to "The New Food Lover's Companion." You can substitute other similarly-sized pasta, if you like. Serve this soup with a green salad with Italian dressing and crusty bread and butter.
This recipe is by Renee Enna, a writer with the Chicago Tribune. It was featured in the "Dinner Tonight" column published in the newspaper's Good Eating section on January 2, 2002.
Any assortment of canned or frozen vegetables also can be used; just add with the tomatoes and beans. You may need to add additional broth or water.
- 1 Cup acini di pepe (or any small soup pasta)
- 2 Tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 cans (15 to 19 ounces) cannellini or black beans
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup red wine
- 2 Teaspoons Italian herb seasoning
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 Swiss chard or kale leaves, coarsely chopped
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Prepare 1 cup acini di pepe (or any small soup pasta) according to package directions. Set aside.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 small diced yellow onion; cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Reduce heat. Add 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) vegetable or chicken broth, 2 cans (15 to 19 ounces) cannellini or black beans (with their liquid), 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes (with their liquid), 1/4 cup red wine, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 bay leaf (optional), 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Simmer 20 minutes.
Step 4: Add 4 coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves; cook until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; add the cooked pasta. Pass grated Parmesan at the table.