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Pastina in Brodo (Small Pasta in Broth)

What you need: 

6 cups good vegetable stock
1 cup small soup pasta, such as acini di pepe or rosmarino
2 pieces bottled roasted red pepper, diced
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
soy Parmesan, if desired
Italian parsley, for garnish

What you do: 

This soup is so simple and lovely - a vegan variation of a popular light evening supper in Italy (the original version is typically made with beef broth). Serve this with good, warm crusty bread, of course.
In a large pot, bring the vegetable stock to a low boil. Add a little salt, and then drop your pasta. Stir to prevent the pasta from sticking together, and bring to a boil again.
Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta is al dente, usually 7 minutes or a little longer. Stir occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking.
When the soup is finished cooking, remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
To serve, spoon some of the roasted red pepper into the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the soup into the bowls, over the roasted red pepper. Crack some fresh black pepper over each serving, sprinkle with soy Parmesan, and garnish with the Italian parsley.
If you'd like to add some protein to this soup, you might add 1 cup of cooked, drained lentils a couple of minutes before the end of cooking time. I wouldn't add any other type of legume or bean, however (such as cannellini or chickpeas), as the delicate balance of this soup will surely be lost. Trust me on this and the people you feed will hold you in the highest regard for your culinary genius.

Preparation Time: 
20 minutes
Cooking Time: 


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