Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Soup 'n Radiators - Pasta Fagioli

I’ve been a bit out of the blog world lately…but still checking in on my favorite reads as often as possible so I’m not THAT out of the internet loop. Seriously loving every bit of this fall weather. It’s got me in the mood for sweet treats and hot, savory soups. Sunday night I threw a whole bunch of stuff into my le creuset and attempted to make my own version of Olive Garden’s Pasta Fagioli soup. I succeeded.

Servings: A lot, I’ll update this part once we finish it!
Prep Time/Cook Time:  About 45 min

Here’s what you need:
2 cartons beef broth
1 large can of crushed tomatoes, or 2 small cans
1 can tomato paste
1 lb ground beef
1 white onion
8 garlic cloves
5-8 celery stalks
2 handfuls shredded carrots
1 zucchini
2 handfuls spinach
1 can chickpeas
1 can white cannellini beans
Large handful of fresh green beans chopped in half
1 cup orzo
1 lug olive oil
Spices: salt, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika

Here’s what you do:
Chop all veggies, except carrots should be shredded and green beans halved
Heat olive oil then add onions and garlic. Cook about 3 minutes.
Add ground beef
While beef is browning…
in a separate (large) pot, bring broth to a boil
Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, stir-stir-stir
Add orzo and all veggies except for the beans
Keep stirring for ten minutes otherwise the orzo will stick to the bottom
Bring to simmer
Add beans and beef/garlic/onions (beef should be cooked thoroughly)
Add a pinch of salt, pepper, smoked paprika and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper
Cover soup and keep on low for 20-30 minutes

I brought a little of this soup to work yesterday and served it over last night’s leftover spaghetti squash. So satisfying and delicious. The only thing missing? The Olive Garden breadsticks. Since it’s fall and I’ve already had more than my share of unhealthy things as of late, garlic bread will not be added to my at home menu any time soon.

Speaking of home, our new-ish (still not all the way decorated) apartment is one that is heated by  a radiator. If you’re a Floridian you probably have no idea what that is. Don’t worry it was and IS foreign to me too. Our last NY apartment had some other kind of heater contraption with an on/off switch. Those are much more user friendly, I tell you. A few days ago we came home to a bit of a-- scorching misery hot box because the heat man decided it was now cold enough to switch on the ole radiator. I was semi glad because it had been a bit chilly, however when I went to lower the heat, I realized I had no idea how to work that hot, metal, machine. A couple weeks ago I was messing around with it and accidently broke the knob off of the kitchen radiator, so I knew I was out of luck with that one. I still haven’t figured out how to replace that knob..shocking, I know. So we went to bed and I woke up at 1am --BURNING. To. Death. Drenched. Sweating. I flew out of bed and first turned the AC on to a chilly 60 degrees, then immediately starting googling ways to turn off the radiator. I was quite glad when I realized that with an oven mitt, I could simply turn the knob to the far right to eliminate the heat. Who knew? The whole time I’d been twisting with all my might to the LEFT since typically that’s how you turn something OFF. In the end, I woke up in an icebox because I forgot to turn the AC off after I resolved the heat issue.

Enjoy the soup and have a great week!

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