Garbanzo, Tomato, & Pasta Soup

Original Recipe HERE

*N* read a book in which the young characters ate tomato soup, so guess what she asked me to serve for dinner.  I had already had this recipe in the hopper to make this week, so I figured it would be close enough.

Both kids enjoyed most of it: *N* picked out the onions and some tomatoes, and *J* ate everything except the chickpeas (which I find strange, since he adores hummus, but he always locates the garbanzos in anything I make and leaves them on his tray).  Both asked for second and third helpings, so this will be made again.

I followed the recipe closely, and next time I'll just use any type of canned tomato I have on hand (usually diced).  Also, any sort of small pasta, like ditalini or orzo, would work just as well - but they aren't as fun.  Toward the end of the meal, *N* enjoyed hiding various elements of the soup between two shells and asking me to guess what was in there.  Dinner and a show!

45 to 50 oz vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups small seashell pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried ground thyme
salt and pepper to taste

(1) Bring vegetable broth to a boil in large pot. Add pasta; cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
(2) Meanwhile, heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until translucent.
(3) Add spinach and garbanzo beans to pan.  Increase heat slightly; sautee until spinach is wilted.
(4) Stir vegetables into pasta.  Add tomato paste, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Heat through and serve.

Notes: I assume chicken broth would work just as well.  *J* may accept different beans (cannellini?).
Kid Participation: None.

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