A healthy, hearty soup with white beans, tomatoes, and fresh spinach, topped with shredded parmesan cheese. Serve with crunchy bread and butter and this soup can be a vegetarian meal in itself. Or, omit the pasta and serve with a side salad and you’ll have the perfect gluten free dinner. There’s just something so delightful about a big bowl of warm, comforting soup that can hit the spot on a chilly night.
Speaking of chilly, it is down right freezing here in Michigan again! Is it spring yet? I’m ready for some warm days where we can actually go outside to play for more than five minutes without losing all feeling in our fingers and toes! Well, soon enough I guess.
In the meantime, we’ve been staying pretty active around here. The boys and I are having fun attending story time at the library, playing with friends, seeing family, and attending different children’s plays in our area. We’ve been busy with the usual day to day things, too. Especially grocery shopping, and planning fun and exciting additions to our menu.
Andrew and I even had a date night out on Monday night. We met up with my sister and had a fabulous dinner out. We went to a great well-known place near her, about a 45-minute drive for us. (We went there for Andrew’s birthday dinner last year, but unfortunately our whole experience was a bust. We let the manager know and they told us to come back for our next dinner on them!) So Monday night, for his birthday dinner re-do, we spent over two hours talking and savoring most things on the menu. Wow, what a perfect night with my husband and sister! I even walked away with a number of great new recipe ideas. 🙂
On a much different note, we’ve had a few health changes in our house lately, so I’m feeling super motivated to create many more of those “good for you” recipes. However, like all of my recipes, TASTE is such a factor here! I mean, let’s be honest, if it claims to be healthy but tastes like glue, why on earth would you touch it? Thankfully, I love experimenting with recipes to create that healthy/tasty perfect combo. I guess you know my new little project for the time being. So, the “healthier” recipes have been moved to the top of my list these days, so I hope you’re up for them!? 🙂
Kicking off our “healthy AND tastes good” recipes, I give you a family-tested and much approved, (yes, even the boys loved it!), White Bean Soup with Tomatoes, Spinach and Pasta. It’s quick, easy, and of course healthy and delicious, too.
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannelini beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and juices
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly torn
- 1/2 cup short pasta, such as ditalini or tubettini (omit for gluten-free)
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup water, if needed
- Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat olive oil until shimmering, then add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until tender, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and stir, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add beans, tomatoes, broth, basil, and salt and pepper, and stir. Simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the broth has thickened and reduced a bit, stirring occasionally. Do not boil.
- Add pasta and cook for about 10 minutes or until pasta is almost tender. (If omitting pasta, continue cooking for about 10 more minutes). Then add spinach and cook for about 3 minutes or until spinach has wilted. If necessary, add up to 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve with Parmesan cheese, and crunchy French bread and butter, or a side salad.