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Sunday Comfort

February 20, 2010

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Around here, Sundays are pretty quiet.  After a long week, a little time for church and a slow moving afternoon (maybe including a nap!) is most welcome.

In my efforts to promote a somewhat balanced life for my family, I try to prepare what I like to call “healthy comfort food”.  In the winter, a simple fare of homemade soup and bread really hits the spot.  Don’t you think there is something soothing about a hot cuppa soup and a warm hunk of fresh bread slathered with butter?  I sure do.

So to help you find a little Sunday Comfort of your own, here is one of my favorite soup recipes.  I created it a number of years ago, and I still love it.  I hope you do too.

Kelly’s French Farmhouse Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small to medium onion, roughly chopped
3 carrots, cut into large chunks
½ c. (or more) frozen peas
3 stalks celery, cut into medium to large chunks
1 28 oz. can crushed Italian tomatoes with herbs
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried oregano
¼ to ½ tsp. garlic powder, as desired
1 ½ quarts water or vegetable stock
5 oz. (or so) Barilla elbow macaroni with ridges
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley OR 1 tsp. dried parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to serve
1.) Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add onion an cook over low heat for about 5 min. until soft.  Add the fresh vegetables and sauté about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
2.) In a large stock pot or crock-pot, add water or stock, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic powder, dried parsley (if using), sautéed vegetables, and peas. Salt and pepper to taste.  For stock-pot, bring to a boil, stir well, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 30 min.  For crock-pot, set to low, cover and let simmer for 3-4 hours, or as needed.
3.) Add pasta and return to a boil, stirring.  Lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 7 minutes.  Stir frequently during cooking.  For crock-pot, add pasta the last 1-3 hours.  Alternately, pre-cooked or warmed pasta may be added shortly before serving.
4.) Stir in the beans and heat through for 3-5 minutes.  Stir in fresh parsley (if using).  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.  Serve hot and garnish with the grated cheese if desired.
** Additional ideas for vegetables include:
1 ½ c. turnips cut into large chunks
1 ½ c. rutabaga cut into large chunks
½ c. dried peppers, finely sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut into large chunks
You can vary the vegetables to what you have on hand.
Makes about 8 servings (3 qts.)
One Comment leave one →
  1. Nita permalink
    February 21, 2010 1:26 am

    This will be for tomorrow… thank you Kell!


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