Aired October 7, 2009
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 to 4 small ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
Salt and pepper
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups water
1 28-ounce can tomato pure
1 cup mini penne rigate or mini rigatoni, such as Barilla brand
1/2 basil leaves, torn
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 loaf crusty or stale bread
1 3-ounce jar pine nuts or 1/3 cup
1/4 grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to pass at table
Preheat oven to 325F.
Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions, garlic, green beans, carrots, celery, bay leaf, garbanzo beans and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables 7-8 minutes to soften then add in stock and tomato pure. Bring soup to a boil, add penne and cook 5 minutes. Stir in basil and turn off heat.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pot over low. Pulse bread and pine nuts together in a food processor. Turn breadcrumbs out onto a cookie sheet and toss with butter and cheese. Toast in oven 12-15 minutes, until light golden in color.
Top soup with breadcrumbs and serve.