Like Minestrone, Italian Pasta and Bean Soup is a classic, sometimes referred to as pasta e fagiole. This recipe makes a complete meal with fresh garlic bread and salad. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas.
Italian Pasta and Bean Soup (Pasta e Fagiole)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium carrot peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 large celery stalk cut into ¼-inch dice
- 3 ½ –4 cups cooked or 2 15–16 oz cans (drained and rinsed) cannellini beans
- 1 32 oz carton low-sodium vegetable broth, or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 15–16 oz can diced tomatoes, preferably Italian-flavored or fire-roasted
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ tsp Italian herb seasoning blend
- 1 ½ cups ditalini or other tiny tubular pasta
- 1 cup frozen green peas thawed, or 1 cup finely diced zucchini
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley and/or 2 tbsp 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.