This is a slightly different version of the traditional Italian dish, brimming with ham, herbs, tomatoes and onions. This pairs especially nicely with onion foccaccia bread.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, thickly sliced
- 2 small carrots, thickly sliced
- 1⁄2 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 8 ounces smoked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1-1/3 cups)
- 3 tablespoons shredded fresh basil or 1⁄2 teaspoon dried crumbled basil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pinch of dried crumbled oregano
- 1 (15 1/4 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 1⁄2 cups ditallini pasta (or other small pasta such as shells)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 3⁄4 cup sliced mushrooms
- 5 tablespoons shredded fresh basil
- 1⁄3 cup sliced green onion top
- olive oil
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat 2 T. oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and bell pepper. Cook until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add ham, 3 T. fresh basil, garlic and oregano. Stir 2 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook until mixture is reduced to thick sauce, about 6 minutes. Add broth and beans. Bring to boil, mashing 1/4 of beans against sides of pot. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Add pasta. Boil gently until pasta is almost tender but firm to bite, 6-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle mushrooms over soup. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Return soup to boil, stirring constantly. Adjust seasoning. Stir in 5 T. fresh basil. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with green onion tops and drizzle with oil. Pass Parmesan and freshly ground pepper separately.
This was absolutely wonderful. So full of flavor. I think the only thing different I did was to add a little more broth. Probably about another 3 cups, just my preference. I grated some fresh parmesan on top but not the olive oil. I just had a bowl when I made it and froze the rest for my lunches next week. Looking forward to it, because it was really so very yummy. I really think the blend of flavors is fantastic. Thanks for posting your recipe Jackie OhNo..I will be making this often.
I made this exactly as directed (using bowtie pasta) and reducing it down to 3 servings. This is a nice, hearty soup that made a perfect lunch for us. I didn't use the parmesan cheese or olive oil toppings for personal preference. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)