And what soup did I pair with all those grilled cheese sandwiches? A hearty-but-not-heavy tomato and bean soup. It went together all easy-peasy, was extremely yum, and the leftovers (little as there was) reheated really well. It's just my preference, but I mashed half the beans in this soup to thicken it up for real stick-to-your-ribs-ness. You could leave them all whole, but you'll have a thinner soup. Either way is good for dunking grilled cheese, though.
Tomatoey Macaroni & Bean SoupYield: 4-6, depending on appetite
- ½ lb ground sweet Italian sausage
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
- 32-oz carton low-sodium fat-free chicken broth [Pacific Foods]
- 1 cup elbow macaroni [Hodgson Mill Ultragrain Elbows with Quinoa]
- 2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes [Muir Glen]
- Grated parmesan, if desired
- Brown sausage over medium heat in a large French/Dutch oven. Remove browned sausage from pan, draining off the oil.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and everything is very fragrant.
- Add the seasoning blend and chicken broth to the pot. Heat broth to boiling. Add the macaroni and cook for 5 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
- Pour one can of drained beans into a bowl and smoosh with a fork or potato masher. Add to the pot along with the other can of drained beans, crushed tomatoes, and sausage. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until everything is heated through and soup is thickened.
- Serve garnished with grated parmesan, if desired.