This easy, healthy soup is so quick to make and requires just a few items from your pantry.  It makes a satisfying meal by pairing with a nice Romaine salad.

Note:  I recommend using organic ingredients when possible

1 15 oz. can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1 32 oz. carton good quality chicken broth (have extra on hand to thin the soup if desired)
3/4 cup small pasta shells
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
handful of fresh parsley, chopped (do not substitute dried parsley – fresh makes this soup)
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic lightly (do not allow to brown).

Set aside about a cup of the broth.  Add the remaining broth to the garlic and olive oil.  Bring to a low boil.

Add the pasta to the broth and bring back to a low boil.

Meanwhile, add half of the beans to the reserved broth and puree with a stick blender.  Add the puree and the remaining beans to the saucepan.

Simmer about 10-15 minutes or until the shells are just tender.  If the soup becomes too thick for your taste, add additional broth.  Optionally, you can cook the shells separately in water, drain, then add to the soup.  This will make for a thinner soup.

Add the fresh, chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow the soup to rest 10-15 minutes on warm to blend flavors.

Other options:  This soup can be varied by adding fresh chopped spinach, grated carrots, minced celery, and/or chopped tomatoes.  You may also top with fresh, grated Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.

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