Quick Fix for 2

Greek-style soup makes a quick meal in a bowl

February 4, 2014 

No matter what the weather, my family loves a bowl of soup, but most recipes take too long to make for a midweek meal. Greek-style minestrone fits the bill.

This thick and hearty soup made with vegetables, beans and Arborio rice takes only 20 minutes to make. It’s a whole meal in one bowl and a great way to brighten a winter evening.

Navy beans, garlic, onion and tomatoes are the basis for Fassoulada, a Greek bean soup. With the addition of feta cheese and Italian risotto rice, it becomes an Italian-Greek fusion meal. Used to make creamy risotto, Arborio has shorter, plumper grains than other short-grained rice.

You can make this a vegetarian meal by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Serve it with a salad and crusty bread.

Helpful Hints

• Use a medium or short-grained rice if Arborio rice is unavailable.

• Domestic crumbled feta cheese is available in most markets and works well for this recipe.

• Save prep time with sliced celery, available in the produce section or salad bars of many supermarkets.

• Find minced garlic in the produce section. Two crushed garlic cloves can be used instead.

Countdown

• Prepare ingredients.

• Make soup.

• While soup cooks, open a washed, ready to eat salad and warm some bread.

Shopping list

To buy: 1 package frozen chopped or diced onion, 1 small zucchini, 1 small bunch celery, 1 package washed, ready-to-eat spinach, 1 small can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, 1 can navy beans or Great Northern beans, 1 small package Arborio rice and 1 small package crumbled feta cheese.

Staples: Olive oil; minced garlic; dried thyme; fat-free, low-salt chicken broth; salt and black peppercorns.

Miami Herald

Gassenheimer: dinnerinminutes.com

Fassoulada (Greek Bean Soup)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup frozen chopped or diced onion

1 pound sliced zucchini (about 2 cups)

1 stalk celery, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

1 cup drained, canned, no-salt-added, whole tomatoes

1/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice

2 cups no-salt-added, rinsed and drained navy beans or Great Northern beans

4 cups washed, ready-to-eat spinach

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

HEAT oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, zucchini, celery and garlic. Saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and rice. Break up tomatoes with the edge of a cooking spoon. Bring soup to a simmer. cover and cook 15 minutes. Add a little water if the soup becomes dry.

ADD beans, spinach and thyme. Cook until beans are warm and the spinach wilted, about 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle feta cheese.

Per serving: 566 calories (13 percent from fat), 8.3 g fat (3.6 g saturated, 2.8 g monounsaturated), 17 mg cholesterol, 34.5 g protein, 94.5 g carbohydrates, 19.7 g fiber, 486 mg sodium.

Yield: 2 servings.

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