Italian Pasta and Bean Soup
Over the weekend Betsy and I jaunted over to Breckenridge for a day to do some skiing and meet up with a few friends that happened to be in town. Breckenridge is a really cute little town that brings out the ski bum in anyone who visits. Before you know it, you’re walking around saying things like, “Whoa bra! Gotta go carve some fresh pow today.”
The other thing that Breckenridge has is a brewery. So after a day of skiing, we spent a few hours drinking delicious and strong beer.
The whole weekend left us both feeling a bit exhausted and with a tiny headache.
So when we came home we were starving and I had only a few qualifications for whatever we ate:
1) Had to be quick to make. Under an hour definitely.
2) Had to be warm.
3) Had to be healthy.
This soup, which took way less time than I was expecting even, knocked all of these things out of the park and made me feel human again.
Italian Pasta and Bean Soup
Yield: Serves 4.
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
4 Cups (1 quart) vegetable stock
1 Cup water or white wine
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 Cups tomato sauce or jarred strained tomatoes
1 16 ounce can white Cannellini beans
2 Cups pasta (bowtie or Conchiglie works great)
9 ounces spinach
Pinch of salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
1) Add onions, celery, carrots, and olive oil to a large heavy pot and put it over medium-high heat. Cook until veggies begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
2) Add veggie stock, water/wine, tomato products, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a few more minutes until veggies are soft.
3) Add beans and pasta to the soup. Simmer until pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes depending on the pasta you use.
4) Once the pasta is cooked, add in the spinach and stir until wilted.
5) Season with salt and pepper and serve with Parmesan cheese, crackers, and hot sauce.
Adapted from a soup in Best-Ever Soups.
Prepping the Ingredients
This is a really easy soup to make. It takes under 30 minutes really to make a big pot of soup which is about as quick as soup gets.
You can use a lot of different beans or pasta shapes here so feel free to get creative.
The only real chopping you need to do for this recipe is to dice up the onions, celery, and carrots which takes just a few minutes.
Try to get them all roughly the same size.
Cooking the Soup
To start the soup, add the oil, carrots, onions, and celery to a large pot and get it cooking over medium-high heat. Stir the veggies regularly until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
Then add the bay leaf, vegetable stock, water/wine and tomato products. Bring this all to a simmer. Let it simmer until the veggies are soft, about 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile, you can get your pasta and beans ready. This really just means straining and rinsing the beans and portioning out the pasta.
After your soup simmers for a few minutes, toss in the beans!
And the pasta!
Cover the soup, turn the heat down to medium and simmer it until the pasta is soft, probably another 10 minutes depending on what kind of pasta you use.
Meanwhile, get your spinach washed and ready.
Once your pasta is cooked, add in all your spinach and cook it until it’s wilted, just another 30 seconds or so.
Then season the soup well with salt and pepper and serve it up with some Parmesan cheese on top.
I like mine served with some crackers and maybe even some hot sauce!
Traditionally, the person who gets the bay leaf that you add to the soup wins a prize! I just took it out though before serving because Betsy and I weren’t really looking to win a prize…
The soup was really bright and flavorful. The beans and pasta made it really filling as well. It was definitely enough to be a meal on its own.
This soup made me feel human again after a long weekend!