Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Creamy without creams with three kind of beans, pasta, and flavorful tomato and herbs broth.. this soup has all you need for a comforting winter dinner!
Pasta e Fagioli, a hearty one pot pasta and beans dinner soup made with small pasta, aromatics and three kinds of beans simmered in flavorful Italian-style tomato broth. Since pasta is cooked in the same broth, this soup is naturally creamy and stick-to-ribs comforting without any cream or thickeners.
For this recipe, I used three kind of beans - red kidney beans, cannellini beans and lime beans. Whenever I prepare beans soup, I like to start from scratch with fresh beans soaked overnight. However, once beans are cooked, the rest of soup preparation is same for canned or fresh beans. So you can use same recipe with canned kidney and cannellini beans.
Let's get started!
I decided to start year with Pasta e Fagioli because this is one of the first soups I shared on my blog 5 years ago. When I first shared Pasta Fagioli recipe, I added lots of celery, carrot, onions and bay leaves to the soup because I wanted add few servings of veggies in the soup. I remember, one of my follower went curious debating the traditional Italian pasta fagioli does not have carrots or onions in the soup. Well, my idea of adding veggies is always to sneak in vegetables in our diet and not to comete with traditional versions. :) Plus it helps develop flavor too! So, I still like to add mirapoix of celery, carrots and onions to build a flavorful base for fagioli soup.
Other than herbs, beans and overall recipe.... Two important things have changed in previous and this version of soup:
1) Pureed Tomatoes: I puree tomatoes before adding to soup because my better-half is not so fan of chunky tomatoes in pasta fagioli soup. So I prefer to puree or use already pureed ones.
2) Chunky Beans: I don't puree the beans. Instead let them simmer little longer and mash a little with back of spatula. This gives creamy texture to the soup without need of extra steps.
Last weekend when I made Pasta Fagioli again... I decided to share version-2 with you all. This time, I have used all surplus beans from my pantry and soaked them overnight. In morning I pressure cook them in 20 minutes before preparing soup. Don't worry if you don't own a pressure cooker. You can simply boil the beans in fresh water and salt until these are tender. Lima beans take little more time to cook than other small beans. So if you are time pressed, use only kidney beans and cannellini beans. Or skip pre-soaking beans and use one can of low sodium kidney beans and cannellini beans.
Once the beans are ready, pasta fagioli comes together in no time. Like I said, this is a kinda soup which is comforting, thick and creamy without any cream. The small pasta (I used pin wheels) is cooked with the soup broth and little starch of pasta makes soup creamy along with creaminess of beans. In just 25 minutes you will have a pot full of the best pasta and beans dinner ever!
I would say for first time, try this soup today with whatever canned beans you have in pantry. Just try it! You will know what I'm talking about. This soup has potential to make a lite weeknight winter dinner feeling like amazing Holiday Supper! Only without the load of calories!
Note: Soup is vegan if you don't serve with parmesan cheese.
This New Year we are all set to healthy yet flavorful! Don't we?
Why don't start with an amazing bowl of Pasta e Fagioli!!
Wish you all a wonderful year 2017!
Serve a crusty bread on the side:
Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- Pasta Fagioli Soup
- 3 Cup Kidney Beans (18 ounce cooked beans, or 1.5 cup dried one or 3 beans mix)
- 1 Cup Pasta (small, such as datilini, macoroni, shells, or wheels)
- 2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (adjust per taste)
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 1 Celery (rib, small chopped)
- 1/2 Cup Yellow Onion (or white part of one leek, thin sliced)
- 5-6 Thyme (sprigs)
- 946 ml Vegetable Stock (1 quart)
- 3 Cup Tomatoes (20 ounce can of san marzano tomatoes, pureed)
- 3 Garlic (cloves, minced)
- 1. Soak and Cook Beans when using Fresh Beans: If using fresh beans. Soak them overnight. Drain and boil with salt until tender. I like to pressure cook them to get ready in 20 minutes.
- 2. Saute Aromatics: Heat oil in a deep dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and thyme with 1/4 tsp salt. Saute until veggies are soft. (3-4 minutes)
- 3. Add Seasonings and Simmer Soup: Add chili flakes, tomatoes, pasta, cooked beans with 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well. Bring to boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs, mix in vinegar. Taste and adjust salt.
- 4. Garnish Soup and Serve: Ladle soup in cups. For more rustic flavor, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on the top (not vegan). Serve hot with a crusty bread. Enjoy!
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