To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli Soup (Pasta and Beans)

This has to be one of the best soups I've ever made. I made it over the weekend, and ate it 3 nights in a row. Then, I made it again today. It was that good. Today, I made a few changes to the original Rachael Ray recipe for convenience, fat reduction, and improved texture. Here's my version:
  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 (4 to 6-inch) sprigs rosemary, left intact
  • 1 (4 to 6-inch) sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf or 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 rib celery
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 quart chicken stock, preferably the lower sodium variety
  • 1 1/2 cups ditalini pasta
  • Grated Parmigiano or  Romano, for the table 
Chop the bacon. Start browning the bacon in a skillet. While it cooks, chop the onion, carrot, and celery just enough to fit into the food processor.  Throw the garlic in there, too. Process until finely chopped. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and then saute the vegetables from the food processor.  When the bacon is done, remove it from the skillet and add it to the pot along with the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt - there's already quite a bit in the other ingredients. Without bothering to wash out the food processor, put the tomatoes and 1 can of beans into the food processor and puree. Add that to the pot with the chicken stock, the other can of beans, and the 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook 8-10 minutes until pasta is done. Remove the bay leaves and the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Some of the leaves will have separated from the stems. That's fine. Just remove the woody stems. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan.

Try not to eat the whole pot at once.

1 comment:

Closer to Lucy said...

Soup is the perfect food especially when stuffed full with two of my favorite ingredients Pasta and Beans...YUMMO!

A great share!

Out hopping, hope you'll come on by :)

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