Italian Pasta and Bean Soup
Like Minestrone, Italian Pasta and Bean Soup is a classic, sometimes referred to as pasta e fagiole. It’s a meal in a bowl that you can complete easily with fresh garlic bread and a big salad. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut
into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 large celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 cups cooked or two 15-to 16-ounce cans
(drained and rinsed) cannellini beans
- 32-ounce carton low-sodium vegetable broth,
or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 15-to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably
Italian-flavored or fire-roasted
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning blend
- 1 1/2 cups ditalini or other tiny tubular pasta
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed, or 1 cup finely diced zucchini
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley and/or 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and sauté over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until all are golden.Add the beans, broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, and seasoning blend. Bring to gentle boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the soup to stand for an hour or so to develop flavor.
Just before serving, cook the pasta until al dente in a separate saucepan. Rinse briefly under cool water until it stops steaming. Stir into the soup along with the peas or zucchini.
Return the soup to a gentle boil. If the soup is too dense, add another cup or two of water or broth. Stir in the parsley and/or oregano. Remove the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and serve.