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Strega Soup

By Opal Luna

I feel connected to my father's side of the family whenever I cook. Trips to Aunt Bessie's house held promise of plump meatballs and tons of treats. Bessie being the oldest of nine learned to cook at her mother's side. I never had the honor of meeting my Nona Paglia in life but count it as a visit whenever I make soup.

My father used to tell me about the wonderful soup she made. She began with cans of baked beans. This might seem strange but at the time cans were three for a nickel and stretched dinner for this family of 11. I have created my own version of which I think she would approve.

It can be made vegetarian or gluten free with ease. Feel free to throw in whatever left over meats or veggies you may have in true Strega Nona style. Blessed Be.

You will need:

Olive oil (1/4 cup)

Chopped onions, celery, and carrots (1 cup each)

Rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano (1 tsp each)

Minced garlic (1 Tbs)

Baked beans

(1 15oz. Can)

Chicken or vegetable broth (4 cups)

Cooked ditalini or other small pasta

(1 cup)

Shredded Parmesan to taste

Cook onions, celery, carrots, and herbs in olive oil in a Dutch oven or deep pot until tender.

As you move everything around to keep from burning think adding positive thoughts when stirring deosil and banishing negativity when stirring widdershins. Think about the properties of the herbs and vegetables you are using. You will be manifesting these attributes in your family when they eat this soup. You may want to chat...

Widdershins and deosil Banish the stress and add my will

Everyone who eats my food

Will proper to the greatest good

Add garlic, beans and broth and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Add cooked pasta before serving.

Top with shredded parmesan.

As with most Italian foods this tastes even better the next day.

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