Zuppa DuppaPosted: January 10, 2012
The unusual lack of snow where I live doesn’t mean that it’s not cold. Because it is. It’s freakin’ cold, man. But this classic Italian soup warmed me right up.
If you don’t know what pasta fagioli means, get out your Italian dictionary and you’ll see that fagioli means beans. So essentially, this is pasta and beans. It’s very similar to minestrone but pasta fagioli has more pasta & beans than veggies & broth, making it a heartier soup. There are a lot of recipes out there that add some sort of meat (like sausage), but I’ve kept mine vegetarian. Well … it would’ve been vegetarian if I had used vegetable stock but all I had on hand was chicken. Oops. Feel free to use whatever stock you prefer of course.
– 3 carrots, peeled & cut into thin coins
– 4 celery stalks, cut into thin pieces
– 1 small yellow onion, cut into pieces
– 1 bay leaf
– 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
– 1 19oz can of dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
– 1 19oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
– 1 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
– 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken stock (or veggie stock)
– 2 sprigs of thyme, roughly chopped
– 1 large pinch of red pepper flakes
– 1 ½ cups of ditalini pasta
– 2 handfuls of spinach leaves, roughly chopped or torn by hand
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper
– Grated Parmesan
Heat some olive oil in large stockpot on medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion and cook a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper, and cook another minute. Next add the beans, tomatoes, thyme, red pepper flakes and the broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, the longer the better. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes, drain and add to the soup. About 5 minutes before serving, remove the bay leaf and add the spinach. When ready to eat, ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan and pepper.