“I live on good soup, not fine words” – Moliere

The only way to truly deal with any type of sickness is to curl up with a big delicious bowl of soup. As I am dealing with the worst cold I have ever experienced, Giada De Laurentiis’ Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup helped ease some of the pain. Tomato soup is literally my favorite soup in the entire world, but this soup ended up being more of a minestrone type soup – and that was definitely okay by me! I did change some of the ingredients, which ended up customizing this dish more to flavors that I enjoy. It was the perfect texture, bold spice, and had wonderful bites of flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 stalks of celery (Her recipe calls for 2 peeled carrots, chopped, but I absolutely hate carrots, so I substituted celery!)
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jar of marinara (Her recipe recommends San Marzano brand – I just used regular Prego)
1 box of unsalted chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup uncooked couscous (her recipe calls for pastina pasta, but also says you can use any type of small pasta. I had couscous around the house, so I decided to give it a try!)

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First, you need to chop up your celery, onion, and garlic. I really enjoy onions so I used the whole yellow onion, but you can use a smaller onion if you prefer or just half the onion as well. Once you have everything chopped up, heat the olive oil in a large soup pan and then add your veggies.

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Cook until the veggies are nice and soft on medium heat (should be about 2 minutes) Avoid trying to taste directly! You might get a whole bite of garlic which is contrary to popular belief not such a nice bite :(. Once the veggies are soft, add your marinara sauce, chicken broth, beans, couscous, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

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Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes and then ladle into bowls and enjoy!

So this soup was wonderful! Simmering all the ingredients together was great because it really opened up the flavors from the red pepper flakes and added such a nice heat to the dish. The beans and couscous added a nice heartiness and then the onions and garlic provided a nice balance of flavor. The celery provided a nice freshness and crunch that I really enjoyed. It was the perfect dish to keep some of my sickness at bay and also warm me up on a cold, rainy night. I am one that literally constantly craves spice, so my only revision to this dish would be finding something that maybe balances out that heat a little more because at times it was a little overpowering. Overall a wonderful dish and I’m excited that I have leftovers 🙂

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