The Mediterranean has long been revered as a mecca of healthy eating. Dishes from this region tend to be low in fat and cholesterol and high in flavor and variety. Typically high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, the foods provide multiple micronutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help protect against a whole host of diseases.
This Mediterranean soup contains whole grain ditalini (i.e., "little thimbles"), a small pasta that provides 6 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, with no additional salt (to try: Eden® Organic Pasta — Kamut® Ditalini). Another star of the soup is chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans), legumes with powerful antioxidant properties and a whopping 50 percent recommended daily value of fiber. A trio of spices — cumin, cinnamon and pepper — provide the Mediterranean flavor and respectable amounts of iron and manganese.
Wichita has a plethora of Mediterranean restaurants, but none offer this kind of soup. Most serve lentil soup, which can be delicious and nutritious in its own right, but this dish provides an interesting alternative.
Why not serve this hearty soup at your Super Bowl (AKA Souper Bowl) party as an alternative to gut-busting chicken wings or fat-laden dips? On any cold winter's day — or any soup-craving day — try this delicious recipe that will fill your home with an aroma worth sharing.
Mediterranean pasta and bean soup
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1.5 cups water
16 ounces vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 14.5 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup uncooked ditalini
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender (about 3 minutes).
- Add the water, broth, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, chickpeas and tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the ditalini and cook 10 minutes, until the pasta is tender.
- Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.
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