There is nothing a big, steaming bowl of soup during the winter months. When the snow is flying and the wind is whipping around you just need something hot and hearty to warm you up. One of my all-time favorite soups is Pasta Fagioli (pronounced fa-jool). My version is very similar to the Olive Garden’s Pasta Fagioli recipe. It’s full of veggies and meat and beans all simmered in a hearty tomato base. Top it off with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and, well, you have pure perfection in a bowl!
This recipe is very easy to make and it makes a lot. I love to make a big pot on Sunday so that I can have it for lunch all week long. And, this soup freezes well. I often make a double batch and freeze half for another time. My favorite way to enjoy this soup is with a big hunk of crusty bread and freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.
I have made this soup so much that I don’t need to follow a recipe. In fact, to write this blog post, I had to carefully (and painstakingly) write down everything single ingredient, measurement and step in order to include the recipe below. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when making Pasta Fagioli:
- You can add any veggies that you like to the soup – zucchini, green beans, whatever suits your fancy.
- To keep the beans from splitting, do not over cook them. If you want to simmer the soup for longer than 20 minutes, add the beans at the end.
- If you are freezing or storing the soup, keep the cooked pasta separate. This way, the pasta will not absorb all of the liquid or get mushy.
This is one of my favorite soup recipes and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Compliments of It’s a Keeper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 (15 oz) can Cannelini beans
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound Ditalini pasta, cooked
In a large dutch oven, brown ground beef with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. When no longer pink, remove from pot and drain excess fat, leaving 1 Tbsp of fat in pot. Add onion, carrot and celery to pot. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and bay leaf cook for 1 minute.
Add ground beef back into pot. Add tomatoes, beans and chicken broth. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup of Ditalini to bowl and add soup. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
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