Beans and Greens Soup

Servings: 6

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small to medium onion, chopped
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup ditalini or other small whole grain pasta
1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach, rinsed and dried
salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onions; cook and stir until the onions are transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Stir in the beans and pasta; lower heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, or 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spinach and stir just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Options: Substitute spinach for kale or escarole. Use 1 large chopped potato and no pasta. Use dry beans, soaked overnight. Cook the beans till tender in water or broth, with 2 cloves of garlic, an onion, some fresh thyme, salt, and a bay leaf. Remove everything from bean liquid and combine beans and liquid with sautéed garlic, onion, and wilted greens. Serve with toasted whole grain bread rubbed with fresh garlic, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Put the toasted bread in a bowl and serve soup over it. You can serve this with chicken as well.