Italian Bean Soup

The weather is certainly cooling down now, even here in Alabama. So that means it’s time to bust out two things:  trusty old soup recipes, and tissues.

Monkey and I have the sniffles. Sad thing is, this is already our second cold of the season. Two fingers suckers + winter germs = sickness all winter long. Oh well. I’m hoping that this means we will never get sick when the girls are older. Hopefully by then we should have super hero immune systems. Until then, though, we catch everything.

But it’s alright because we have soup. Lots and lots of soup. What is it that makes soup such a comforting thing to eat?

This one has so many things going for it. For one, it is easy. You literally just open up a bunch of cans and dump them in a pot.

It is hearty, healthy, comforting, and tasty. Full of fiber and protein from all of the beans.

It is also super economical. We are talking about canned beans here, people.

This is a favorite at our house, even little Monkey Mode enjoys it. I was going to get a picture of her eating it for you but the poor kid  just looks terrible. Her eyes are all puffy and watery, her nose is red and runny, and since she can’t breathe through her nose, she is drooling all over the place. Basically she is just a mess and not the most perfect food blog model at the moment. So as a consolation to you I will let you see a picture of my little Trick-or-Treaters from Monday night.

Scary cute huh?

All right. Now go make a big pot of this soup. It might just cure what ails ya.

Italian Bean Soup

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 38 oz box low sodium chicken broth

1 15 oz can EACH drained and rinsed: black beans, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans

1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach (I have also used fresh baby spinach in the past and it is great too. Just add in about 1 cup since it isn’t already cooked down)

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

38 oz water (or two cans full)

1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning

salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

In a large pot saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil until soft and lightly brown.

Stir in garlic and cook for one minute.

Add in remaining ingredients and simmer on medium to low heat for at least one hour.

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