Pasta And Bean Soup

Course : Beans
Serves: 5
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1/2 cup elbow macaroni -- shells, etc
15 ounces chick peas -- drained *
2 tablespoons safflower oil
16 ounces kidney beans -- drained *
1 medium onion -- chopped
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon summer savory
1 medium green bell pepper -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 dash cayenne pepper
6 ounces tomato paste -- (2/3 cup)

Preparation / Directions:

* rinsed well, then drained Cook pasta in boiling water for about 6 minutes, until al dente. While pasta is cooking, in Dutch oven or 4-5 qt saucepan, heat oil. Stir in onion, garlic, and green pepper. Sauté till tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except macaroni. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. When pasta is done, drain well. Stir into other ingredients. Heat. GARNISH: grated Parmesan cheese, optional Variations: - substitute or add other vegetables such as chopped sweet red shredded carrot to sautéed veggies; substitute 1 t basil and 1 t oregano for savory, thyme, and cayenne pepper.

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