If you seek a filling, hearty, inexpensive meal, look no further than this Calabrian soup. It’s packed full of beans, making this soup surprisingly high protein for a vegetarian soup (about 20 g. per cup). I made a batch of this for the week for lunches. It pairs well with tuna salad if you’re using it as a side dish.
You can choose to use either canned or dried beans for this. If you’re in a hurry, use the canned beans. If you have only dried beans, cook them in the instant pot prior to making the soup, about 40-45 minutes on high pressure (then release naturally). If you lack an instant pot, you can cook them on the stove prior to adding them to the soup. You can even cook the beans the day prior to making the soup if you need to.
Millecosedde (Serves 4-6)
- 1/2 c. brown lentils
- 1/2 oz. dried mushrooms (optional; I omitted these.)
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 diced carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 1 minced garlic clove (or more, if desired. You can never have too much garlic.)
- pinch red pepper to taste
- 6.25 c. vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup of each of the following canned beans, rinsed and drained (if using dried beans, see the note at the bottom):
- kidney beans
- cannellini beans (or navy beans or northern beans)
- 4 oz. dried small pasta (rigatoni, shells, etc.)
- grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to serve
- pot (I use a 4-6 qt. Dutch oven.)
- fine mesh sieve for draining/rinsing beans
- Put the lentils in the pot and add 2 cups water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. While the lentils cook, soak the dried mushrooms in 3/4 c. warm water, if using.
- Strain the lentils and rinse under cold water.
- If using mushrooms, drain the mushrooms while reserving the liquid.
- Chop the mushrooms and set aside.
- In the now empty pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering.
- Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, and red pepper. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the stock, mushrooms, and mushroom liquid (if you used the mushrooms).
- Bring everything to a boil, then add all your beans, chickpeas, and lentils.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the pasta and return the soup to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Cook 7-8 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
- Serve warm with grated cheese.
- If you’re using dried beans, recall that beans expand about 2-3 times their size, so cook only 1/3-1/2 c. of each bean in the instant pot. That will get you the 1 c. of each bean, cooked.
- The soup keeps wonderfully as leftovers for about a week or so.