It’s a warm, 85 degrees. The sun is shining. An iced tea is in your hand. A cool, refreshing salad is in front of you. Bliss doesn’t even begin to describe the way you feel.
Fast forward two days later. It’s a cold, 52 degrees. The sun is hiding. It’s raining. A hot water with lemon is in your hand. A blanket covers your shivering body. Sadness doesn’t even begin to describe the way you feel.
The only thing uplifting your melancholy mood is the piping hot bowl of minestrone sitting in front of you and the impending weather forecast of 69 and sunny.
Why is it that a little rain and cold weather can make you feel so down in the dumps? I’m not sad per se, just not feeling like my normal bubbly happy-go-lucky self. I ache for the warmth. The sun. To wear flip flops and cutoffs. To sit on a patio. To do anything besides shiver when I retreat from the warmth of my heated home.
Ugh. I know complaining is unbecoming, and I knew this was coming, but it still sucks when the phantom summer disappears and winter returns. While I was previously craving ice-cold smoothies and chomping on crisp salads, now all I want are giant bowls of soup and copious amounts of hot tea and coffee.
Lucky for me, I recently partnered up with a new-to-me company doing some freelance recipe developing and photography and one of the first orders of business was a hearty minestrone featuring some of their elbow pasta shapes – just in time to heal my cold-weather blues.
It’s no secret around here how much I love pasta, and most of the time I don’t feel guilty eating it, but occasionally, I’ll substitute the white flour pasta for something a little heartier and more nutritious. Typically I just swap it out for a whole-wheat or brown rice variety of some sort, but Banza, the company I’m working with has an awesome, gluten-free alternative to both of those – chickpea pasta – and has me convinced it’s the new way of healthier pasta eating.
Oh, and Joe Bastianch is just one of the many well known chefs that’s approved this pasta…He’s a pretty big deal…Son of the queen of Italian cooking in American. Thought I’d throw that out there.
Full of protein and fiber, this stuff keeps me full and tastes good. I’ve already used it in a couple of ways, but I think today’s minestrone might be my favorite yet.
Super simple, but so flavorful, the base of the soup starts with a medley of chopped onion, celery, carrots and garlic. It’s then sprinkled with a little bit of dried basil and covered in chopped tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes and chicken stock (low-sodium).
Something I almost always do now in my soups courtesy of Giada is to put a whole parmesan cheese rind in the broth, it’s crazy how much flavor such a small step can infuse into the soup, but trust me, it makes a huge difference, especially when you’re using very few ingredients.
Once the broth has simmered and the parmesan cheese rind has started to melt into the broth, I toss in handful of the noodles, a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas and couple cups of chopped kale.
When the noodles are cooked, it’s ready to go. A hearty, healthy and delicious soup sure to warm you from the inside out!
Banza was kind enough to offer all Cooking for Keeps readers a 20% discount code to purchase the product! Just use CookingForKeeps25 during check out. You can also find Banza pasta in various grocery stores across the country, be sure to be on the look out for it!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 parmesan cheese rind
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 14.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped kale
- ¾ cup elbow shaped banza pasta
- In a large stock pot, heat olive oil to a medium heat. Add clery, carrots, onion, garlic and salt. Saute until vegetables become slightly soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, cheese rind and dried basil. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add chickpeas, kale and pasta. Cook until pasta is cooked, another 5-6 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I was not compensated to write this post, only given complimentary Banza pasta to cook with.