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May 21, 2007 12:19 PM

What side dish with pasta e fagioli soup?

I made big pot of this soup yesterday and plan to have the leftovers for dinner tonight. Any suggestions for a (relatively healthy) side dish that would go well with this? I was going to make a salad, but my husband is not a big salad/veggie eater. Thanks for your suggestions.

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  1. Garlic bread on whole wheat baguette?

    1. The garlic bread's a good idea, though the whole wheat baguette would not fly in our house. I'd do a simple salad of butter lettuce and thin-sliced Belgian endives, but broiled tomatoes would be good, too. You just slice the top off a medium-sized tomato for each person, then salt and pepper it and squeeze on some garlic (from a press or else mash it and spread it on), then drizzle on a little olive oil. I grease the toaster-oven tray and set them on that, and give them about twenty minutes on BAKE at 300º-350º, though these things vary a lot. You want the tops to be sizzling and the whole thing sort of slumping over. This is about the best use I've found for supermarket tomatoes - even the really boring ones come out tasty. Conversely, I'd never do a really fine garden tomato this way.

      Something I just now remembered having this weekend at a party, sort of combining both of the above ideas, was bruschetta with a fresh tomato sauce. You slice French or Italian bread and bake it on a sheet until it's dry and crunchy, then top it with the sauce (or serve it alongside). For the sauce, cook a little finely-chopped celery and shallot or onion in some olive oil with salt, pepper and herbs-of-choice until it's just transparent, then stir in some chopped tomato, seeded and drained of juice, and stir it gently until it's warm through. You can add some juice back if it's too dry. This is not rocket science - it's simply offhand cooking, like making a sandwich, but it's fun to do and fun to eat.

      1. Thanks for your suggestions. We had garlic bread with the soup last night... but it was this store-bought Gelsons kind that was swimming in butter... definitely not whole wheat baguette. Kinda gross...

        Also, wouldn't ya know it, but my husband hates tomatoes. I love them... but I guess I can't blame him, I too hated tomatoes until about 10 years ago. And now I'm IN LOVE with them - eat them raw, cooked, whatever all the time. So, I'll definitely keep the roasted tomats recipe for myself sometime!

        Maybe I'll just take the chicken leftover from making the broth to make the soup and throw together a light chicken caesar salad or something. Or maybe I'll roast some other veggie - like fennel or something, where I can *disguise it* with parm cheese, etc.

        1. salad's actually the right answer. something cool and snappy to cut through the hopefully very dense flavor of your PeF. ...There's more than one kind of salad?

          1. a frittata ( I favor spinach and mushroom or caulifower) on the table in the black skillet as well as fresh fennel ,orange and olives in a salad . My family would serve sausage on the side not healthy ??? yea I guess but these folks were old and fiesty