Warming Up Winter

ditalini.jpgToday, Michelle Stern of What’s Cooking (and What’s Cooking Weekly), offers up a great way to warm up winter – both through the soup itself, and by getting your kids moving in the kitchen:

“This winter, try this delicious Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup) recipe. And don’t forget – kids make great helpers! See the Call The Kids section towards the bottom of the recipe to guide you on what your kids can do to help.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (4 to 6-inch) sprigs rosemary, left intact
  • 1 (4 to 6-inch) sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini (or any small pasta) pasta
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano, for the table
  • Crusty bread, for mopping

    1. Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil.

    2. Add rosemary and thyme stems, bay leaf, chopped vegetables (onion, carrot, celery), and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. Add beans, tomato sauce, water, and stock to pot and raise heat to high. Bring soup to a rapid boil and add pasta.

    4. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente.

    5. Rosemary and thyme leaves will separate from the stems as the soup cooks. Remove herb stems and bay leaf from soup and place pot on table on a trivet.

    6. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated cheese. Pass crusty bread for bowl mopping.


  • If you have one, kids can use a food chopper (supervised) to chop the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic
  • Pour in canned tomatoes
  • Measure and add water and broth
  • Drain and rinse canned beans
  • Measure dry pasta
  • Grate cheese with a rotary cheese grater (to protect little knuckles!)

    Servings: 6

    Nutrition (per serving): 248.1 calories; 27% calories from fat; 7.7g total fat; 1.6mg cholesterol; 1400.9mg sodium; 796.5mg potassium; 38.9g carbohydrates; 5.7g fiber; 5.4g sugar; 33.1g net carbs; 7.6g protein.”

    CLICK HERE for a printable PDF of this recipe.