This is the second soup in this series, Recipes by the Soup Goddess. The Soup Goddess is my mom, and she's not really a goddess, but she is a pretty gifted woman. And one of her gifts is making soup.
When I think about this soup, I remember a time during the first year I was off of meal plan at college and cooking for myself. My mom came for a visit and brought with her a gallon sized freezer bag full of this soup, complete with a little baggie of grated Parmesan. I don't remember much of what I ate that year, but I had virtually no cooking experience and that soup was a bright spot in a dark culinary period.
This is a great soup to make in late summer or early fall, when vegetables like green beans and zucchini can still be found in your garden or at your farmer's market.
Note: You can cook the pasta in the soup, adding it with the zucchini. But then it gets mushy when you reheat the leftovers. So we prefer to cook it separately and add a little bit to each bowl.
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. butter
2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
2 large carrots, sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
4 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t. ground sage (or a few leaves fresh sage, chopped)
fresh thyme to taste
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/2 c. cooked kidney beans (or one can)
2 c. chopped cabbage
1 c. green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can stewed tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
9 c. beef broth, or combination of broth and water
1 zucchini, cubed
1 1/2 c. small pasta of choice (I use small brown rice shells)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat oil and butter in soup pot over medium heat. When butter melts, add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until the onion and celery are soft. Add the garlic and cook one minute more.
- Add all remaining ingredients except for zucchini and pasta. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for at least an hour.
- Toward the end of the simmer, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add some salt and boil the pasta until tender.
- While the pasta cooks, add the zucchini to the soup and cook 10-15 minutes. Taste and season, adding more salt, pepper, and herbs if needed.
- To serve, spoon a small amount of pasta into bowls. Ladle soup over pasta, and top with freshly grated Parmesan. Delicious with crusty sourdough bread!