Sunday, October 22, 2017

Vegan 'Wonton' Soup with "a Reasonable Broth to Wonton Ratio" for Food 'N Flix October Pick: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call & Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It's time for October's Food 'N' Flix monthly film event, where a group of bloggers watch a movie and head to our kitchens to create a dish inspired by it. This month our movie is Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (the 2016 woman-power version), hosted by Kimberly of Coffee and Casseroles (You can see her announcement post here.)

If you saw the original Ghostbusters, there's a similar plot with the main characters being female but still fighting ghosts in New York City without any respect or support. Melissa McCarthy is Abby Yates and Kristen Wigg is Erin Gilbert. The two physicists worked together and even wrote a book on the paranormal although Erin has disowned it to focus on her career as a professor at Columbia University and only seeks Abby out when she starts selling the book again. Abby is working at a technical college, still researching ghosts and working with Jillian Holtzman (Kate McKinnon) a wacky inventor/engineer. When Erin is fired after a video showing the three confronting a ghost  is aired, she joins forces with Abby and Jillian, as does subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). Rounding out the team is hunky but dumb receptionist Kevin (Chris Hemsworth).

I saw the movie when it first came out on Netflix and although I think its at times a bit overdone in the acting and too slapstick for me, it does have its moments. Leslie Jones is the standout--funny in every scene she is in. Although I liked it, I was never a huge fan of the first Ghostbusters so I have no issue with a reboot and I'm always for a cast of strong females. It was interesting to watch it again, this time with my food googles on.

There is actually more food to be found in Ghostbusters 2016 that I thought there was including a mention of breakfast, wonton soup (more on that later), chips, Starbucks (bathroom), Chinese food--a restaurant and mention of hot and sour shrimp soup (with "one shrimp and I hope a water chestnut!"), coffee with sugar, mention of a cousin who will work for Vienna sausages, pizza, a room smelling like chicken frying, some diner shots, soup and salad being listed as "wonderful things to live for," sandwiches, tomatoes/tomatos, and beer. I am sure I missed a few things in there--sometimes I get distracted--and right after I saw the wonton soup and heard Abby's comments about it--I knew it was what I wanted to make.

It seems the Chinese food delivery guy (Ben, I think) brings Abby soup that's lacking:

Abby: "I got one wonton! I got a tub of soup and one split wonton!"
Erin: "I'm sorry you're having a soup crisis."
Abby: There isn't even any meat in there. That's just a carrot."

Then at the end of the film the delivery guy brings a tub stuffed full of wontons...

Abby: "I'm just looking for a reasonable ratio of wontons to soup, this is madness!"

How can a confirmed soup lover resist lines like those? I needed to make a Vegan Wonton Soup with "a Reasonable Broth to Wonton Ratio" as my movie-inspired dish.

I have to confess, I was feeling lazy and did not want to make my own wontons. Been there, done it, nothing to prove. It's not hard to make them but it just wasn't the weekend for it. I had intended to buy the Annie Chun brand mini vegetable wontons and of course, Whole Foods (who usually carries them) was completely out--as were the two natural food stores I drove into town for. If I ate meat I could have gotten the chicken ones, but I don't. Instead I bought the same company's vegan potstickers. Now I know that potstickers are different from wontons, but I decided to go with it. To round out the soup and make it more than just broth and wontons, I added carrots (of course), shiitake mushrooms, baby bok choy, and green onions in a garlic and ginger-spiked veggie broth. 

Unfortunately for me, I didn't think about how the difference between wontons and potstickers and the wrappers would impact the soup when I chose to not fry up the potstickers first and after just a few minutes, they swelled to epic proportions and many of them split--casting their filling into the soup. Heavy sigh. Luckily, I had another brand of vegetarian potstickers in my freezer (sometimes I need a potsticker dinner) and so I removed the offending potsticker skins from the soup with my slotted spoon, fried up my second batch of frozen potstickers and added them to the soup. Not my finest moment but it worked--although all things considered, it probably would have been less work just making the darn wontons. ;-) The soup's flavor was good and my young friend Zof (her lovely parents, my friends have been having me make double batches of my soups and buying them) apparently said, "These dumplings are my favorite. Yum, yum, yummy in my tum, tum tummy." I feel there can be no higher praise.

The "bad soup" before I decided I needed to go back and re-do my potstickers. Note the giant size of the potstickers--they look ready to take over New York City!

Vegan Wonton Soup with "a Reasonable Broth to Wonton Ratio"
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 6 Servings)
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced 

6 cups low-sodium good vegetable stock (I used not-chicken soup paste + homemade garlic broth)
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 carrot, thinly sliced, halved first if large
3 bunches baby bok choy or one large bunch bok choy, larger stem pieces sliced into 1/2-inch pieces & leaves & tender stem pieces sliced into 2-inch pieces & separated 
about 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, cleaned well, stems removed and sliced
12-16 oz frozen mini wontons or pot stickers 
3 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced
white peeper
chili oil and toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute garlic and ginger until softened and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar and bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile if using potstickers, fry them according to package instructions so they are nice and crispy on the bottom before adding to the soup. If using wontons, I recommend cooking them to package instructions before adding to the soup. 

Strain broth to remove ginger and garlic pieces (optional) and bring back to a simmer. Add carrot and bok choy stem pieces and simmer for another 10 minutes, until vegetables are mostly tender. Turn up heat to a gentle boil and add bok choy leaves and shitake mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in green onions, taste and season with additional soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil as needed, white pepper and chili oil if desired. (I serve it with chili oil on the side.

Add the potstickers or wontons to the cooked soup or place a few of them (using a reasonable broth to wonton ratio depending on your bowl size!) in the soup bowls before ladling in the soup.

Top bowls with toasted sesame seeds and chili oil if desired. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: Not my most perfect soup but not bad. I'll probably like it even better tomorrow when I am less angry with it and myself for the rookie move on the potstickers. The flavor was good--nice ginger and garlic flavor in the broth, I just wanted a clearer broth and the insides of the first set of potstickers that came apart gave the broth a thicker feel--it reminded me a bit of mapo tofu. Oh well! Jacqueline, Zof's mom, said she absolutely loved it like Zof did and enjoyed every bite and that the chili oil and sesame seeds were a perfect touch. I would make it again either using the wontons--which are better made for broths and soups or frying the potstickers/dumplings first.

The deadline for this round of Food 'N Flix is Monday October 30th 2017 and Kimberly will be rounding up the entries on her blog soon after. If you missed this round and love food, films and foodie films, join us for November when we'll be watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles, hosted by Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures

We have some tasty dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen said, "...this Cheesy Broccoli Beer Soup with Smoky Sunflower Chorizo Croutons was ridiculously flavourful, but in a very good way.  I especially loved the different levels of flavour from the topping the beer, the cheesiness from the nutritional yeas.  It was also very velvety.  Its definitely a soup that clings to the spoon."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog made Roasted Acorn Squash and Pear Soup and said, "Fall has officially begun, so I say bring on all the wonderful fall produce!! You will love this flavorful soup made with roasted acorn squash and sweet yellow Bartlett pears. Winter squashes like acorn squash make wonderful fall soup that can be delicious warm or just as good chilled.

Linda of brought Leek and Potato Soup and said, "Leek and potato soup has to be one of my all time favourites.  I’ve shared this recipe before but have recently updated it a bit to include more accurate measurements.   I’m all into weighting the food we eat and recording it.  This is something my dietician recommended as a way to control portions."

Mahalo to everyone who joined me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery" by Jenny Colgan, Served with Jenny's "Awesome Hot Chocolate" and Toast with Butter & Honey

Although I lean to the slightly Grinch-ish side and don't like to see, hear, or think about Christmas until well after Halloween, I am happy to be on the TLC Book Tour for Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan. It's pretty impossible to not feel at least a bit of the holiday spirit when reading a Jenny Colgan book and the fact that this is the third book set in Mount Polbearne on the Cornish coast and featuring Polly, her boyfriend Huckle, and Neil the (most adorable) Puffin only adds to the feels. Along with my review, I made a batch of the Awesome Hot Chocolate from the book, served with toast with butter and honey. 

Publisher's Blurb

In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold.

Though Polly is busy keeping up with the demands of the season, she still makes time for her beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle. She’s especially happy to be celebrating the holiday this year with him, and can’t wait to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog on Christmas Eve.
But holiday bliss soon gives way to panic when a storm cuts the village off from the mainland. Now it will take all of the villagers to work together in order to ensure everyone has a happy holiday.
Full of heart and humor, Jenny Colgan’s latest novel is an instant Christmastime classic.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 10, 2017)

My Review:

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is the third and possibly final (say it isn't so!) book with these characters and set in an adorable Cornish coastal village. I recommend reading Little Beach Street Bakery (my review here) and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery (my review here) before this one. I do think it is possible to catch up on the story without reading the first two books, but why would you want to? You'll get all of the back stories, the character growth, experience living in a lighthouse, and sppend more time with Neil, the most adorable 'pet' puffin out there. 

This third book finds Polly running her bakery and scrambling to afford the upkeep of the lighthouse she and Huckle are living in. Huckle has marriage on his mind but Polly is hesitating on taking the next step. The storm mentioned in the back cover blurb is less of an issue to happy holidays than the tension between Polly and Huckle, family drama for Polly, pregnancy and issues between her best friend Kerensa and her husband (and Huckle's bestie) Ruben, and a threat to the local puffin sanctuary. But this is a Jenny Colgan book and it's Christmas, so ultimately things end on a satisfying note, making this a happy holiday read for even the Grinchiest of hearts. 

In the foreword Colgan mentions that Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is (probably) the last book in this series but I hope that's not the case. As much as I have enjoyed her other books like The Bookstore on the Corner and The Cafe By the Sea, I have a special place in my heart for these characters and village--I'd love to continue on with them.


Author Notes: Jenny Colgan is the New York Times-bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Bookshop on the Corner, Little Beach Street Bakery, and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.
Find out more about Jenny at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.


Food Inspiration:

There is plenty of food inspiration is Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery--the bulk being baked good and pastries. Polly's olive oil focaccia and scones, fish and chips, Polly's bread spread with salted local butter and Huckle's orange blossom honey, sandwiches and pasties, croissants, cream cheese brownies, doughnuts, cheese twists, tea and coffee, pecan and cinnamon buns, apple turnovers, Empire biscuits, Sachertorte, coarse brown bread with fresh salty butter and loads of smoked salmon on top, chocolate coins, raisin and cinnamon Christmas twists, mince pie bites, gingerbread, clotted cream fudge, brandy-soaked Christmas cakes, religieuses, chocolate matzos, rugelach, knishes, mulled wine, and galette des rois

There are still more food mentions but I stopped writing them down and just enjoyed immersing myself in the book because I knew I wanted to make the Awesome Hot Chocolate. (Yes, it's still warm and humid here but at least this week has been windy and rainy--if I waited for cool weather I'd hardly have time to make anything hot!)

There is a recipe for the hot chocolate in the back of the book (along with recipes for the knishes, mincemeat twists, and galette des rois). I stuck to the recipe ingredients for the chocolate but I found the method of heating the chocolate first in a pan on the store too worrisome with my tricky stove burners or dragging out a double boiler, so I slowly warmed the milk, then added the chocolate and whisked and stirred and slowly melted it. I chose not to add anything other than a touch of vanilla at the end---it was plenty sweet and I was craving the chocolate rather than the taste of liqueur.

I served my Awesome Hot Chocolate with toasted cranberry-walnut bread, spread with good salted butter and my favorite Big Island Bees Lehua and Cinnamon Honey.

Awesome Hot Chocolate
Slightly Adapted from Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery
(Serves 2 to 3, or more)

Note: Jenny says, "Don't add too much cream, otherwise it will turn into pudding. But do add marshmallows, even though those two statements contradict each other. Also keep an eye on the chocolate. If it gets above a simmer when it's melting, it's all over."

One large bar of milk chocolate (the size of one they offer you in shows when you buy a newspaper. The branding is completely up to you.)
One small bar of dark chocolate (Bournville or similar but go posh as you like. If you like, e.g., chilli flavoring (I don't judge), go for that at this point.)
Brandy or Cointreau (optional)
750 ml (about 3 cups)
a dollop of single cream
vanilla to taste
ginger or cinnamon to taste
2 tsp sugar (optional)
marshmallows (optional)

Melt the chocolate INCREDIBLY slowly stirring over a very low heat. If you've got small people chuntering around, they may need a distraction whilst you get this together. if you don't, a small slug of brandy or Cointreau is practically de riguer.

When the chocolate is melted, add up to 750ml of whole milk--the precise consistency is up to you--and a dollop of single cream. it should be lovely and thick but not dessert. 

A spot of vanilla; a tiny pinch of ginger or cinnamon to taste. Some people add a teaspoon or two of sugar at this point, and that is entirely to your taste. I do.

If you have a foamer, use that; otherwise carefully whisk and pour. 

Small marshmallows or tiny ones are up to you. I prefer the little ones because it feels like I get more. Don't look at me like that. 

Drink slowly. Possibly with this book in your hands. 

Notes/Results: This is an ultra rich hot chocolate, thick and creamy with sweet delicious chocolate flavor. I think as a snack, the hot chocolate or the toast would suffice without the sugar overload of both treats (the salted butter and yeasty bread helped the overall sweetness level a bit) but it certainly was tasty. I also may have overdone the mini marshmallows a tad--they spread out all over the top and got nicely melty so they were hard to resist. ;-) I may have consumed my hot chocolate with the air conditioning on, but it was worth every sip and is "awesome" as the recipe title suggests. This hot chocolate is one you would save to make when you want a really indulgent treat rather than a quick and simple cup of cocoa but it was well worth it. I would make it again. 

I am linking this post up as my ninth entry for Foodie Reads 2017. You can check out the October Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month.

I'm also linking up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

Note: A review copy of "Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Book Review of "At Wave's End" a Novel by Patricia Perry Donovan, with Ina Garten's "16 Bean" Pasta E Fagioli Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

This Sunday I have a hearty and delicious 16 Bean Pasta E Fagioli Soup to share, adapted from an Ina Garten recipe and paired with a long overdue book review of At Wave's End by Patricia Perry Donovan. The review might be overdue, but the book features a small Jersey Shore town ravaged by a hurricane (based on Hurricane Sandy), so it fits right into recent headlines. 

Publisher's Blurb:

After a childhood as unpredictable as the flip of a coin, Faith Sterling has finally found her comfort zone in the kitchen of an upscale Manhattan restaurant. A workaholic chef, at least there she’s in control. So when her free-spirited and often-gullible mother, Connie, calls to announce that she’s won a bed-and-breakfast on the Jersey Shore, Faith’s patience boils over. Convinced the contest is a scam, she rushes to Wave’s End to stop Connie from trading her steady job for an uncertain future.

When a hurricane ravages the coast, Faith is torn between supporting the shore rescue and bailing out her beleaguered boss. But the storm dredges up deceptions and emotional debris that threaten to destroy the inn’s future and her fragile bonds with her mother.

As the women struggle to salvage both the inn and their relationship, Faith begins to see herself and Connie in a new light—and to realize that some moments are better left to chance.

My Review:

I read and enjoyed Patricia Perry Donovan's first book Deliver Her for a TLC Book Tour last year so when she contacted me several months ago and asked if I would read and review her new book, At Wave's End, I agreed of course. My good intentions to read and review the book when it published in August didn't quite happen. I did read and enjoy the book but did not get around to making a dish and posting a review. Since then several states and communities--most recently Puerto Rico--have suffered severe hurricane damage, which makes a book about it very current. As I read through the book again, deciding on a dish to make for my usual book and food pairing, my thoughts and heart are with all of those who are suffering the after-effects of storms like the book's fictional Hurricane Nadine (based after Hurricane Sandy back in 2012).

At Wave's End is about more than a hurricane on the Jersey Shore, it's about the relationship between a mother and daughter, and a book about taking chances and finding yourself--all things I enjoy reading about. With the main character Faith, being a chef, it also has an strong element of foodie fiction in it. As in her first book, Perry Donovan creates characters that are believable and relatable. Both Faith and her somewhat flighty mother Connie are engaging, as are the supporting characters--mainly the people that stay in the bed and breakfast due to the storm. Faith's harder edges soften and are understandable when you look at her upbringing and Connie has hidden depths to her personality that are not easily seen at the beginning of the story. Despite having heavy topics like the storm and its aftermath worked into the story, overall At Wave's End leans to the lighter side--there is romance, plenty of food, a balance of humorous and poignant moments, and the way the community comes together in a difficult time is heartwarming. A very enjoyable read and I look forward to the author's next book.   


Author Notes: Patricia Perry Donovan is an American journalist who writes about healthcare and the author of the novel Deliver Her. Her fiction has appeared at Gravel Literary, Flash Fiction Magazine, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and in other literary journals. The mother of two grown daughters, she lives at the Jersey shore with her husband and "a cranky Yorkie named Deisel."

You can connect with Patricia Perry Donovan on her website, Facebook and Twitter


Note: A copy of At Wave's End was provided to me by the author to review. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Food Inspiration:

When Patricia sent me the book, she commented that she thought it would be easier for me to make my book inspired dish as there was plenty of food to be found in At Wave's End. She was right--I had a hard time choosing from all of the different mentions that included things like filet medallions au poivre--medium rare, coffee-burnished magret de canard (seared duck breast) blue-corn-dusted cobia (fish) with zucchini and okra, salmon and quinoa salad with carrot-sesame dressing, chicken paillard and fingerling potatoes,  afternoon tea with chilled lemonade and crumpets, Bundt cake, iced tea, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, garlic bread, pumpkin-sweet potato bisque, lychee cilantro sorbet, grilled watermelon and conch salad, shrimp and grits, arugula-topped pizzettes, breakfast strata, roasted vegetable soup, spiral ham, baked bananas, an apple and pear breakfast compote, chicken potpies, sticky buns, frittata, turkey brie and cherry-chipotle panini, sweet potato and bacon mash, wild rice, cranberry and cheese-stuffed peppers, beef daube (stew), scones, hand rolled sushi and crab and cucumber canapes, butter-poached shrimp cocktail, starfish finger sandwiches, vanilla mousse, a crab salad, a raw seafood bar or oysters, crab and shrimp, shrimp skewers wrapped in prosciutto, cilantro-studded crab cakes, lobster tacos, tuna sliders, tomato and mozzarella tarts, Asiago-dusted French fries, corn chowder, deep-fried zeppoles, chocolate-chip ice cream sandwiches filled with locally made frozen custard, watermelon, feta and arugula salad, roast loin of pork with fig jelly, scallion-studded polenta,  and  carrots with cumin yogurt. Drinks included armagnac, cocktails with muddled produce (muddled orange slices and blackberries and muddled celery),  pinot grigio, the Boxcar (a blend of London gin, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and egg white), a Shirley Temple, and mermaid cocktails--rainbow-layered confections with alcohol and without. Whew! 

Although there were several food mentions that caught my eye and that I thought about making, I decided on the humble "makeshift" pasta e fagioli soup that Faith puts together for the volunteers and people taking shelter from the storm at the local church. To me, a bowl of soup is like a hug and exactly what I make when I need comfort or want to comfort someone else and it captured the spirit of the book. I have been wanting to try Ina Garten's 16 Bean Pasta E Fagioli Soup and this seemed like a great time to make it.

I did change a few things in Ina's recipe such as taking out the pancetta as I don't eat meat. Instead I added smoked paprika and some dried oregano and basil to give a slightly smoky taste and a flavor boost. I used a combination of non-chicken vegan soup base and homemade garlic broth in place of the chicken broth and because I was making a 1 & 1/2-ish batch of this soup to share with friends who have a small child, I left out the red wine--deciding to add an Italian mushroom bullion cube and little extra red wine vinegar at the end for another flavor boost. When you take out ingredients that add a lot of flavor to make a recipe vegetarian or vegan, you have to put flavors back in. I did however leave in the Parmesan. If you want a vegan version of the soup you could use nutritional yeast or a vegan Parmesan mixture instead. I am sure Ina's soup recipe is more than delicious as it is written, but I think my changes kept all of the great taste without using foods I don't eat and removing the alcohol.

Ina says, "Pasta e fagioli is a classic Italian soup with pasta and white beans. I'm always looking for new ways to make old fashioned dishes and Goya's 16-bean soup mix was the perfect change. This is thick enough to be a hearty meal on a cold winter day. I added a splash of red wine vinegar at the end, which really livens up the flavors of the soup."

"16 Bean" Pasta E Fagioli 
Slightly Adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten
(Makes 6 Servings)

1 (1 lb) bag of Goya of other 16-bean soup mix
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 (6 oz) package pancetta, diced (I omitted)
1 large onion diced
3-4 cloves minced garlic (I used 5 cloves)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

(I added 1 tsp smoked paprika, I tsp oregano & 1 tsp dried basil)
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

(I added 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes)
1 cup dry red wine
4 -6 cups good chicken or veggie stock (I used 4 cups non-chicken stock + 2 Cups homemade garlic stock + 1 boullion mushroom cube)
kosher salt & black pepper
1 cup miniature pasta such as ditalini or tubettini
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese + more for serving
1 Tbsp good red wine vinegar (I added 1 extra Tbsp)
fresh basil leaves, julienned for serving

The day before you plan to make the soup, place the bean mix in a large bowl, and add water to cover by 2 inches and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain the beans, rinse under cold running water, drain again. Place the beans in a large pot with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that rises to the top. The beans should be very tender and the skin will peel away when you blow on the bean.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium (10-inch) stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.Add the pancetta and onion and sauté over medium to medium-high heat for 12 to 18 minutes, until browned. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for one minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, 4 cups of the chicken stock, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and turn off the heat.

Drain the beans and add two-thirds of them to the soup. Pass the remaining beans through a food mill, discarding the skins. Stir the bean puree and the pasta into the soup, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender. Add up to 2 more cups of chicken stock if the soup is too thick. Stir in the Parmesan and the vinegar. Ladle the soup into large shallow bowls and add a swirl of olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and some basil. Serve with extra Parmesan on the side.

Ina says that you can prepare and refrigerate the soup for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Just add more broth or water if the soup is too thick.

Notes/Results: Ultra thick and comforting, this is a tasty soup full of rich tomato flavor. I was happy with the changes I made to remove the meat and wine and still get a lot of flavor. I couldn't find Goya's 16-bean mix at my local grocery stores but I found another brand that worked fine. I wasn't sure about Ina's putting one third of the beans through the food mill either, but it was quick to do and it adds a thicker texture to the soup, along with the Parmesan cheese. Although this soup takes planning for bean soaking and a little extra time, it goes together easily and tastes great. I would happily make it again. 

I'm linking this soup up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where this coming week's theme is How Easy Is That? -- Ina Garten dishes that are quick and easy. This isn't the quickest soup to make but it is very easy and created mostly from the pantry. ;-)

I am linking this post up as my eighth entry for Foodie Reads 2017. You can check out the October Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month.

We have some tasty dishes waiting this week in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look!

Colleen of Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice is back this week with a Vegan, Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Crockpot Soup and said, "Since I have our big annual Halloween party coming up this weekend, I decided to make and freeze a large crockpot full of sweet potato soup for the big day. I have several friends who follow a strict diet and thought that if I had at least one thing that was vegan, gluten-free, and healthy, that each one of them would have at least one thing that they could enjoy at the party without fear of getting sick."

Linda of The Crafty Gardener returns to Souper Sundays making good use of her Canadian Thanksgiving leftovers in her Yummy Turkey Soup. She said, "Individual portions of the soup are put into freezer bags and stored in the upright freezer for enjoying later. There is nothing like a bowl of homemade soup on a chilly day. You can add whatever veggies you prefer. Rice can be substituted for the potatoes. The potatoes and pot barley will make it a thicker soup."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog brought Quick Root Vegetable Soup and said, "I love this homemade soup recipe because it is fast and easy, nourishing and tastes delicious. Root vegetables like carrots, onions, and potatoes make a simple but flavorful soup that feels warming and soothing no matter when you eat it. Did you know that soup is a popular breakfast food in Japan?

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor made Zuppa di Pesce (Fish Stew) and said, "A few weeks ago Doug found this recipe for a fish stew. It looked good so we saved our leftover fish from other dinners (froze it) and used that along with a fresh fillet of Tripletail. Tripletail is a new fish for us. We saw it at Southern Seafood and decided to try it - happy we did because it's a mild fish with great texture for grilling. The last time we bought way more than we needed so we kept some aside for this stew."


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shared Roasted Marrow Salad with Black Olives and Lemon Oil and said that " made for a change from the typical pasta salads that I make for work.  It was also a good way to use up some left over potatoes and my marrow aka summer squash harvest from the garden.  The dressing was simple, an oil vinaigrette made with Azada Lemon oil."

Mahalo to everyone who joined me at Souper Sundays this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!