With the relief of the cooler weather, as well as the passing of the first trimester nausea, I’ve found myself wanting to cook again. For most of the spring and all of the summer, my recipes have piled up, my new year’s resolution to cook through my saved recipes sadly neglected. The few recipes I did try were definitely not good enough to make it into my (brand new and super fun!) recipe box, let alone share here…I had string of such miserable kitchen failures I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to feed my family a proper meal. Most nights S. takes care of dinner, and it has been this way for years. I recently found myself wondering why this is…at what point in our relationship did this become our norm? We had trouble pinpointing exactly when this routine occurred but I am pretty sure I know why it did: S. and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of meals, but the ones we do agree upon S. cooks infinitely better than I do. I have zero interest in roasting a chicken or piece of beef, and I don’t know how to utilize our grill. S. on the other hand is excellent at preparing a dinner that includes a protein, a vegetable and a starch and mostly, I let him do just that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like cooking – I actually enjoy it tremendously. I prefer recipes, though – soups, complicated salads, casseroles, pastas with seafood and a hundred different herbs…if I am going to bother cooking, I prefer to chop and dice and saute and brown – otherwise, a grilled cheese suits me just fine.
Last Sunday I decided to take control of dinner, which S. willingly agreed to because, let’s be honest, no one likes being in charge of dinner every. single. night. The results of my endeavor were pleasing – so much so I fully intend to make dinner again sometime before Christmas – and so I present to you “off the shelf white bean, sage and pumpkin soup” from my “Gluten-Free Italian” cookbook, written by Jacqueline Mallorca. The soup was lovely – mild, comforting, satisfying – and something I would definitely serve to company. I am filing this under “Meals for company” in my recipe box and, by tweaking the broth and using a veggie broth or fake chicken broth, it could also be filed under my “meals for company, Vegetarian/Vegan” category as well. I served it with gluten-free cornbread.
off the shelf white bean, sage and pumpkin soup
1 cup gluten-free pasta spirals (I used quinoa pasta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon dried sage
3 cups gluten free chicken or vegetable broth
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1 15 ounce can white kidney beans
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (optional, but I used it an I think it was nice)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, option (didn’t use, I hate parsley)
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Taste test often as brands differ. Drain, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and sage and cook over low heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
Stir the pumpkin puree and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes, to blend the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add vinegar, if using.
Stir in the pasta. Divide the soup among shallow soup bowls. Top with the optional parley and Parmesan to taste.
* I actually have two additional recipes to share that turned out well amongst all the failures – an appetizer and an easy dinner. They’ll be posted as time permits*