Hello hello! Happy first Monday of 2016 to you!
Everything is starting to settle back to a normal pace around here this week. Work begins tomorrow and school on Wednesday, and normal eating started this morning.
I over-indulged quite a bit over Christmas break, largely due to the abundance of peanut butter balls and lady locks lurking in my mom’s fridge during our holiday visit. It was hard to walk past the kitchen without grabbing at least one, and my waistline responded accordingly.
The treats were delicious, but I’m now craving the return of normal meals, specifically those packed with veggies. This Italian Ditalini Soup has helped me greatly in that department!
This soup is bursting with Italian flavors of rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme, and is sprinkled with carrots, celery, and wilted spinach. All delivered in a savory crushed tomato and chicken-flavored broth. Plus, the addition of ditalini pasta ups the soup’s sticking power, making it filling enough to enjoy as a meal on its own!
This soup reminds me of a grown-up version of SpaghettiOs, but obviously much fancier and more refined. And with more flavor. But it’s comforting like SpaghettiOs and has the thick, tomato broth and noodles similar to that of my beloved childhood dish. It’s sure to please both young and old palettes.
What are some of your favorite dishes for getting back on track post-holidays?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 (14-ounce) can Italian crushed tomatoes (seasoned with garlic and oregano)
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)
- 4 loosely-packed cups fresh spinach
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- grated Parmesan/Pecorino Romano cheese for topping*
- Heat a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add onion and sauté until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and minced garlic and sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes, until veggies are slightly softened and garlic is fragrant.
- Add chicken stock, Italian crushed tomatoes, rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme, and stir until well combined. Bring the soup to a simmer.
- When soup is simmering, stir in pasta. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until pasta is cooked.
- Stir in spinach and cook until it is wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Taste soup and season with salt and freshly-ground black pepper as desired. Serve immediately, topped with grated parmesan/pecorino cheese, if desired.