pasta and bean soup

Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

A surprisingly quick soup that fills with delicious pasta and beans. I really healthy and filling meal.


Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

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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

Serves 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:
pasta and bean soup
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A surprisingly quick soup that fills with delicious pasta and beans. I really healthy and filling meal.

Adapted from a soup in Best-Ever Soups.


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.

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.

Pretty basic stuff.

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.

Basic veggies.

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.

veggies cooking
Cookin’ with some oil.

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.

add ins
You could use a wide range of beans/pasta.

After your soup simmers for a few minutes, toss in the beans!

beans added
Action shot!

And the pasta!

pasta added
Pasta goes in.

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.

Don’t forget the greens!

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!

soup ready
Cheese is optional. Kind of.

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!

14 Responses to “Italian Pasta and Bean Soup” Leave a comment

  1. Love the soup Nick. I only make a vote for one small change: Put a MEAT stock instead of a veggie one. I am currently simmering a beef stock that would totally implode your world that would also kill inside that soup. I am even contemplating a pork hock broth with the rest. Maybe I will riff off of this soup, you game?
    My recent post Ask the Chef! Episode 2

  2. You had all that in your pantry? No stopping at the grocery on the way? If you had to make a list of must-have pantry items, what would be on it? Thanks!

  3. Even though we are in the midst of summer – I am craving this, because it just looks divine – this recipe is a keeper for winter! thanks Nick

  4. I do something similar to this, but I add a box of chopped frozen artichoke hearts. Delish! Thanks for the reminder Nick. This is just what our house needs as we all recover from the flu. :)

  5. I come back to this recipe all the time. I use whatever veggies/beans/pasta I have on hand but use your base recipe and proportions. Thanks for the keeper.

    1. Thanks Barbra! I should really update this recipe. It’s way back in the archives and is also one of my fave simple soups. ;)

  6. I use this recipe all of the time too – along with a little bit of this or that including homemade marinara in place of the tomatoes, Parmesan rind, sprig of rosemary, oregano, basil, chard or kale instead of spinach … pretty much anything I have on hand which means it’s never the same soup twice. Today for the first time I tried pinto beans instead of white beans which turned out to be surprisingly good.

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