Cooler Weather Calls For…Pasta/Quinoa/Rice Figioli

Seems like every day, Fall is creeping ever so much closer…one day it is gloriously warm, the next there is a bitter chill to the air! Time to start thinking about some heartier fare for these cooler days…first dish I can think of is a nice bowl of steaming, stick to your ribs soup…

Pasta Figioli!

A bowl of Pasta Figioli

Add some fresh Dairy, Egg and Peanut/Tree Nut Free French Stick for dunking…perfect!

I have been making my version of Pasta Figioli for years now…not quite sure of the original recipe’s origin. I remember watching a program on television and then quickly writing down what I could remember of it…over the years, I have fiddled with the measurements to create a ‘classic’ recipe for our family.

All the veggies in the Pasta Figioli has been a bit off-putting for the boys. However, the smell of the soup simmering on the stove top has always been very alluring! Just a few years ago, Michael decided he had had enough of smelling the soup…he was ready for a bowl of his very own!

As I was not completely sure of his safety with legumes…specifically the white and red kidney beans in the Pasta Figioli…I simmered a separate pot of Pasta Figioli without the beans in it for him to try. He loved it!

Just this week, I felt it was time for our first batch of Pasta Figioli of the season. Upon hearing that Pasta Figioli was on the menu, Michael inquired, “Do you think I could try the soup with the beans?”

As he tested negative at the allergists for kidney beans, followed by a taste with no reaction…I decided it was the perfect time for Michael sample kidney beans in the Pasta Figioli.

What better way to try them? I think kidney beans are the best part of Pasta Figioli!Unfortunately, Michael did not agree…”They’re gritty!”, he grumbled, as he proceeded to pick out the few beans that were in his Pasta Figioli. “I like it better without the beans.” Texture can still be an issue with Michael…his limited diet growing up was very bland with little exposure to different textures.

Oh, well…at least he isn’t allergic to kidney beans. I offered to puree them into a dip…he just looked at me with that…‘ya, that is just what I would love to try next’…look in his eyes! Whenever  I suggest trying beans or tofu or sunflower seeds, his reply is always, “That is not what I want to be eating! I want to try eggs, cheese, shrimp!  All the stuff I can’t eat is what I want to try…it all looks so good!”

The teenage years are a whole new ballgame! I think I should write a post on that topic…although, being a teenager, Michael may not approve of such an idea!

Pasta Figioli

A bowl of Pasta Figioli topped with quinoa

1 head of garlic
3 tbsp canola oil
a few shakes of hot pepper flakes or more to your liking
3 cups of diced carrots (approx. 5-6)
2 cups of diced celery (approx. 4-5)
1 onion diced
2 1/2 cups of homemade chicken stock or 1 carton (1L) of vegetable broth/chicken broth
1 can (796 mL) of diced tomatoes
1 can (540 mL) of red kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
1 can (540 mL) of white kidney beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed

In a small pot, cover the head of garlic with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain water and let cool. Peel off outer skin on each garlic clove and set aside.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Saute garlic and red pepper flakes, tossing until garlic is starting to brown.
Add onions, saute until softened.
Add carrots and celery, saute until softened.
Pour in tomatoes with juices, chicken/vegetable broth and both kinds of kidney beans.
Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Ladle soup in soup bowls and top with our favourite short pasta, rice or quinoa.


Enjoying a bowl of Pasta Figioli

I love mixing my Pasta Figioli with quinoa, (see picture under heading) while all the boys in my family prefer Tubetti pasta by De Cecco (seen in picture above).

Tip 1: The longer the Pasta Figioli simmers, the longer the flavours have to mingle. I will sometimes make my Pasta Figioli in the morning and let it simmer throughout the day.

Tip 2: Pasta Figioli is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day reheated to take to work for lunch, dinner a second night or frozen for a quick go-to meal on those days when you need some comfort food!

Tip: 3: As the pasta tends to soak up all the liquid if left in the soup, I tend to let everyone dish their own amount of pasta/quinoa/rice with their soup.

Question: Do you have a favourite soup for the cooler days of Fall?