January 10, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli (Fall and Winter)

This Italian inspired soup represents Canada’s Food Guide in a bowl.

The chickpeas are representing the Meat and Alternatives group, Milk and Alternatives gets its vote from the cheese, whole grain pasta ring in for the Grain Products, and yes, there are veggies, lots of them – tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and kale representing the Vegetables and Fruit category. Throw in a generous amount of antioxidant rich herbs and it’s a complete meal that is economical, delicious and loaded with disease fighting nutrients.

2 tbsp (30 mL) dried basil leaves

1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano leaves

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh rosemary leaves

6 cloves garlic

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 cups (1 L) lower sodium chicken broth

One – 398 mL can cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar

½ cup (125 mL) 100% whole grain macaroni pasta

2 carrots, scrubbed well, unpeeled, and cut into ½ -inch coins

2 stalks celery, cut into ½ -inch slices

One – 19 fl oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups (500 mL) loosely packed chopped kale – see below

¼ cup (60 mL) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or another really good parmesan cheese

  1. Measure out basil, oregano and rosemary in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Mince garlic and set aside.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil and onions, sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, basil, oregano and rosemary and sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Add chicken broth and cherry tomatoes, bring to the boil, add the pasta and return to the boil, stirring to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil uncovered for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add carrots, celery, and chickpeas. Bring back to the boil, reduce heat to medium/low and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  7. Add kale and simmer for 5 more minutes, or until it has wilted. (Stir the soup occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking.)
  8. Spoon out 2 cup (500 mL) servings, and sprinkle each with 2 tbsp (30 mL) cheese.

Makes 8 cups (2 L)

One serving = 2 cups (500 mL)

One serving contains:

329 calories, 7.9 g total fat, 2.1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 434 mg sodium, 47.9 g carbs, 10 g fibre, 9.7 g sugar, 15.2 g protein

Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving

2 ½ carbohydrates, 1 meat and alternative, 1 fat

Kale is a nutrient dense leafy green. Wash leaves well. Remove the leaves from the stem. Discard stem, it can be quite bitter. Coarsely chop the leaves into bite sized pieces. Then add to recipe.

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