Puttanesca, a favorite Italian dish, is transformed into a comforting soup.

This fall season, I’m auditioning a few ideas for soups. I’m knee-deep in the notion of turning famous food dishes into soups that warm the soul and thrill the taste buds. I think I did it. Puttanesca is a favorite dish I serve at my cafe. By combining the heart of this beautiful dish — tomatoes, garlic and olives — with chicken stock or vegetable stock and there it is, a warm and comforting bubbly soup.

If you’re not familiar with Puttanesca I’ll fill you in by telling you it’s just the best Italian dish ever invented. I imagined that little Italian grandmothers and their mothers before them must have made this dish often, as it uses such simple ingredients but the final product is so much better than the sum of its parts. While I was dreaming of its significance in my culinary life as well as my personal life, I wondered how the ingredients would fare swimming in an ample douse of chicken stock — you know, the true heart of any delicious comforting soup. What I discovered is I couldn’t stop eating it despite the fact that I swore off carbohydrates this week. As it turns out, this will make my usual rotation of soups I do during the winter months. It’s a lovely pick-me-up kind of soup and maybe even a new substitution for the traditional tomato soup. This can easily be adjusted for vegetarians, vegans and low carb eaters. By simply using vegetable stock and/or eliminating the pasta, this can suit all kinds of lifestyles. It really is delicious and a simple soup for what winter might have in store for us.

1 carton chicken stock

1 can diced tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

1 red onion

1 can olives

1/2 lb. elbow macaroni cooked

Parmesan cheese


In a food processor combine the tomatoes, garlic, onion and olives. Pulse to combine. In a large stock pot combine the chicken stock, tomato mixture and macaroni. Allow to heat through. Top with parmesan cheese and basil.

Janet McCormick is the owner of Let’s Eat Cafe in downtown Huntington. More of her recipes can be found at http://www.10-minutemeals.com.

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