1 to 2 cups uncooked small shells or elbow macaroni
half an onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil (use as needed)
2 vegetable boulion cubes
small can tomato sauce
chopped fresh cilantro(**)
corn, zuchini, tofu (optional)
A yummy soup that's easy to make, very cheap, and soooo good! Its become a staple in my weekly meals, as well as with the friends I've shared it with.
In a sauce pan or small soup pot sautee the onion and pasta in as much oil as needed, the less the better, until the pasta edges begin to brown. Stir constantly. I'm not quite sure why one does this but this is how I was taught to do it.
Add tomato sauce and enough water so that the soup is not too watery and still red, about 3 cups. After trying this a few times you can judge it on how thick you like the soup, I do it by the number of people who are eating with me, a little less than one soup bowl full of water for each.
Add the boulion cubes, sprinkle in some salt, pepper and garlic powder, letting it all cook until pasta is done, about 10 minutes. Add the cilantro at the last minute(**).
The original recipe I was given has a last step of grating cheese right into the soup pot, which is delicious, especially with pasta shells as they create little pockets where the melted cheese is collected. Use vegan cheese if adding this step.
For more veggies and some variety I sometimes throw in corn, zuchini,or small tofu cubes letting it cook when the pasta has just a few more minutes to go.
**Fresh cilantro is essential for this recipe! I was having a hard time using up the huge bunch before it went bad though and then dicovered a new method passed on by a friend. Chop the cilantro up, store in a ziplock bag in the freezer and then take it as needed straight from the freezer. It still tastes fresh,really!