Several years ago, local food writer JM Hirsch was writing a vegan cookbook. Somehow I ended up being a test cook for some of the recipes. This hearty Italian soup was one of them and has become a family favorite. It can be thrown together in as little as 30 minutes, but gets better if it’s allowed to simmer.
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 5 cups vegetable or other broth
- 1 can fava beans, undrained- please see note below about fava beans
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced or 15 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano (3/4 t if using dried)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Red pepper flakes (start with ¼ teaspoon and adjust to taste)
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Pasta should be very soft when done.
- If you have leftovers, you may need to add additional 1-2 cups water or broth.
I always use fava beans but to be honest, they are quite odd. If you are not adventurous in the food department, substitute a 15 ounce can of kidney beans or any combination of your favorite beans.