Here is a comforting bowl of pasta and cheese in a base of pureed white beans to nurture you during the frenzied pre-holiday season. Mild, high in protein, and with only 333 calories per serving; we give both vegan and dairy variations for this satisfying Macaroni and Cheese Soup.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
2 16-ounce cans cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 1/2 to 2 cups rice or regular milk, or as needed
1 1/2 cups firmly packed cheddar-style non-dairy cheese or cheddar
1 cup frozen green peas
2 cups small pasta, such as tiny shells or elbows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and celery and saute over medium-low heat until both are golden.
2. Meanwhile, puree the beans in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add a small amount of water if necessary.
3. Cover the onion and celery with 2 cups water. Stir in the bean puree, bouillon cube, and seasonings. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Stir in enough rice milk or milk to give the soup a slightly thick consistency. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer once again. Sprinkle in the cheese, a bit at a time, stirring each time until fairly well melted. Add the peas and continue to cook over very low heat.
5. In a separate saucepan, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well and stir into the soup with more rice milk, if needed, then season with salt and pepper and serve.
Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, by Nava Atlas (Amberwood Press, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Nava Atlas. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Adapted from Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons, by Nava Atlas (Amberwood Press, 2006).