Let’s face it, food can be expensive. After stocking up on all your fruits, veggies, meats, dry goods, and other healthy choices, a large chunk of your monthly budget is gone. What’s a girl to do?
During my year as a dietetic intern, I spent a lot of time in grocery stores. As I would peruse the canned good aisles, I noticed that many of the products were labeled “Low Sodium,” “No Salt Added,” and “Heart Healthy.” I became intrigued and found that canned vegetables and beans have gotten a bad rap (that they don’t deserve!). With a bit of smart shopping, you can make a delicious, healthy, and cost-effective meal from basic canned goods. And know what’s even better? You can stock up on your favorite canned products when they go on sale and always know that you can whip up something delicious from your pantry.
This is definitely my favorite pantry recipe to date–it reminds me of my lunchtime staple during my study abroad in Italy because it was delicious and nutritious (and cheap!). This soup is chock full of beans, pasta, and tomato, which makes it a perfect, hearty meal for a chilly day. Plus, it utilizes pantry staples that are easy to purchase and available all year round.
It starts with adding some vegetable oil to a medium-to-large soup pot set over medium heat. When the oil heated up, I tossed in some diced onion and let it cook until it became soft and translucent.
When the onion was all cooked, I added in a can of whole tomatoes (juice and all!) that I broke into pieces with my wooden spoon.You can cut the tomatoes in the can with a pair of kitchen shears or crush the tomatoes into the pot with your hands if you want an easier tomato “chopping” method. But the side of a wooden spoon works too.
Then I added in a couple cans of drained (and rinsed) beans–cannellini and garbanzo (chickpeas). My soup in Italy only had garbanzo beans, but I like the texture differences between the soft, creamy cannellini beans and the more hearty, firm garbanzo beans. If you like one bean more than the other, feel free to use just one type (the soup will be just as delicious).
Now for the liquid portion of this soup. I poured in some low-sodium chicken broth and water, cranked up the heat, and brought everything to a boil.
When the liquid was at a boil, I tossed in half a box of ditalini (little tubes) pasta. Any small pasta shape works here, like orzo, if you have that in your pantry instead.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. When the pasta is done cooking, the soup is finished–how easy was that? All that’s left is to serve it up and dig in!
I hope you enjoy this quick and easy soup that won’t break the bank or your healthy eating plan!
Check out more of Catherine’s delicious recipes by visiting Simply A (RD) Foodie and come back here every Friday for new recipes!
- 1 small onion, chopped small
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
- 1-15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
- 1-15oz can no-salt added whole tomatoes
- 2-14oz cans fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
- 8oz small tube pasta (ditalini)
- Additional water
- In a large soup pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add in the chopped onion and cook until the onion becomes soft.
- Add in the beans and the canned whole tomatoes (juice and all!). Stir to combine and to breakup the tomatoes into smaller chunks.
- Add in the chicken broth, plus an additional 2 cans full of water. Bring the broth to a boil. When the water is boiling, add in the pasta. Cook according to the package directions.
- Serve immediately or cool completely and refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze for 1-2 months.
274 kcal | 55gm carbohydrates | 14gm protein | 4gm fat | 10gm dietary fiber | 829mg sodium