One of my favorite modified recipes is my recipe for Pasta E Fagioli. Pasta E Fagioli is pasta with beans and is often served in soup form. If you order this at Olive Garden you will get a soup tasting very much like chili. It is good, but a little less authentic than the recipe I modify. For the soup: In olive oil sautee one diced onion and two to three diced carrots. If red, yellow, or orange bell peppers are on sale I throw a finely diced bit of that in too. When the veggies are well on their way to being tender you can toss in some chopped garlic. I then drain three or four cans of Cannolini beans and rinse those to remove some of the salt and starchiness. I usually let those soak in some of the veggie-ness for a bit in the pot as well. This next step is up to you: you can add in a bit of tomato paste or canned diced tomatoes. I would not add a lot, just enough to add a bit of flavor. Top everything off with water or chicken stock. At this point I usually season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, fresh rosemary and some Italian seasoning. Sometimes I also add a bay leaf or two (it is soup after all). Once the soup is to a full boil add ditalini or some other small shaped pasta. Once the pasta is cooked you are ready to stir and serve.
You MUST top this with a drizzle of good quality olive oil and parmesan cheese. Optional is browned Italian sausage (removed from the casing). With Mattie the carnivore, I must add the sausage!
Serve with salad and toasted bread or combine the two and serve with bruschetta!