Thick with pasta and kidney beans, this soup is a meal in a bowl. Hearty soups usually take too long to make for a mid-week meal, but you can make this one in 30 minutes, start to finish. The horseradish and vinegar add a little kick and help the flavors of the vegetables blend. Make it a vegetarian meal by substituting more cheese for the ham. Frozen spinach can be substituted for fresh and lettuce for cabbage.
This is a great recipe to use when you can't get to the supermarket. I always have canned tomatoes, beans and pasta in the cupboard, and onions, celery and carrots in the refrigerator. It tastes even better the second day, so make a double batch.
Wine suggestion: Choose a soft red, such as beaujolais.
Any type of cheese and short-cut pasta can be substituted. Ask the deli to cut one thick slice of ham for the ham cubes.
Buy shredded cabbage and peeled baby carrots to save prep time. Slice the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a thick slicing blade.
A few drops of hot pepper sauce can be used instead of horseradish.
To prepare, buy: 1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes, 1 can red kidney beans, 1 package shredded cabbage, 1 package washed spinach, 1 small package fusilli pasta, 1 jar prepared horseradish, 1 small package low-fat shredded cheddar, 1/4 pound lean smoked ham.
Staples: Yellow onion, carrots, celery, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, black peppercorns.