My husband and I like to lead a simple life. Some people strive for drama and chaos, but not us. I generally make simple meals because I find that small ingredient lists of delicious things make the best meals. This time however, I wanted an extra simple meal. There is nothing complicated about a hearty pasta fagioli soup. This version tastes nearly identical to Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli, full of assorted beans, beef, pasta, and wonderful seasoning.
Pasta Fagioli Soup Recipe
(Makes about 8 servings)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
- 1 large carrot, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
- 3 stalks celery, chopped (equivalent to 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
- 1 can (15 ounces) beef broth
- 1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, with liquid
- 1 can (15 ounces) white kidney beans, with liquid
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces ditalini pasta, precooked weight
- In a large pot, over Medium heat, cook the ground beef.
- Drain the liquid from the cooked beef (if any). If you use ground beef with a lower fat ratio then you will have little to no liquid to drain.
- Stir in the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, red and white kidney beans (with the liquid).
- Season with the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- When the soup has 10 minutes left to simmer, cook the ditalini pasta in boiling water for 7 minutes or until a bit firmer than al dente. Do not over cook the pasta.
- Drain the pasta and stir it into the soup. Simmer for 10 more minutes.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
Source: Iowa Girl Eats
This is comfort and simplicity at one of its finest moments. Traditionally there is no meat in pasta fagioli, but it adds a lot of great flavor to the soup. With a little work and adjusting the amounts of the ingredients I bet you can make this a vegetarian meal that is more like a classic pasta fagioli. (Having not done that yet, I can’t tell you exactly how to tweak everything.)
I used frozen carrots because that’s what I had in the house in case you’re wondering why they have a funny frosty look to them and magical ridges that aren’t found in nature.
Cooking tip: Chop an onion and store it in the freezer. I don’t know about you, but I hate to chop onions. To save time (and tears), I chop onions that I’ve just bought from the store and freeze them in a freezer friendly bag. Once thawed, they taste just as fresh as the day I bought them. Onions are a popular ingredient in soups and with soup season in full swing I’ll have them handy at a moment’s notice.
I used white and red kidney beans and ditalini pasta. I love ditalini because the short little tubes are the perfect shape for a soup. One of the reasons why I love this dish is that you can swap these main ingredients for the type of beans and pasta that you have handy and the soup will still turn out delicious. Remember that we’re going for a no-fuss night!
The soup looks a little thin once all the ingredients are in the pot, but it will thicken up as it cooks.
This thick soup has so many textures going on, with the ground beef, veggies, beans, and pasta. In fact, I didn’t add any garnish to the soup because it just doesn’t need it.
The seasoning is spot on. Together with the canned tomatoes and beef stock, this soup is rich and full of fantastic flavors.
This recipe makes a big pot of soup. If you have a large family then it’s the perfect size. If you’re a family of two, like my me and my husband then you’ll have a lot of left overs. You know how some meals don’t reheat to taste as good as the first time you made it? This is NOT one them. My husband grabbed it on the go for work lunches for almost a whole week and it reheated perfectly. 🙂
You know what else is great about this soup? It’s a low budget wonder!
There are many lovely variations of pasta fagioli. If you have a version, how does it differ from this one?
I love bread with my soup, like this Beer Bread.
Here are some other fantastic soup recipes.