Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Soup isn't usually one of those foods where I lack self control. That unfortunate characteristic is usually reserved for foods like brownies, risotto, and macaroni and cheese. Ya know, health food. With soup I can usually have a small bowlful for dinner with a salad or some crusty bread, feel satisfied, and call it a night. However, with this soup I really just want to sit on the floor with the pot in my lap, and eat it straight from the ladle like a weirdo. It is SO good. With ingredients like bacon, garlic, pasta shells, and Parmesan cheese would you expect any less?

Little by little it's getting cooler here in Virginia, and this was a perfectly delicious, perfectly cozy fall dinner for the past couple nights. This was my first time making this soup, and I can already tell that it is going to become a fall and winter staple for me!

The original recipe called for either bacon or pancetta. I really wanted to use pancetta but my grocery store was regrettably out. Thanks a lot Whole Foods. I recommend using the pancetta over the bacon if you can find it, because it is extremely difficult to mince bacon. I never noticed how slippery it was until I attempted to cut it into tiny little pieces. There was a lot of cursing, and I almost threw a handful of bacon at the wall in a fit of rage, which really would have only been hurting myself.

This soup is very thick when it's leftover - it becomes more stew like. Feel free to add up to 2 cups more broth if you want it soupier.

Here's what you'll need: 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 slices of bacon, minced
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black pepper
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/4 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta shells
Parmesan cheese and finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bacon and onions, and saute for 8 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low, and pour in the tomatoes (with their juices), sage, and spices. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the broth and beans, and simmer for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pasta to the soup, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Garnish with cheese and parsley, and serve immediately.

Makes about 10 cups of soup.

Source: Adapted from Shutterbean, originally from the Williams Sonoma Beans & Rice Cookbook


  1. Pasta Fagioli is one of my all-time favorite soups + I don't have any self-control with it - I can easily go through 3-4 bowls in one sitting + then I'm in a soupy, sloshy food coma. ha! Your version looks just wonderful!

  2. As much as I thoroughly enjoy the image of you freaking out at a pile of bacon in your kitchen (don't you miss me??)... I've had this same problem before. Try throwing the strips of bacon in the freezer for a few minutes before you want to cut them up. Works like a charm!! They will slice up perfectly.

  3. I can't wait to make this soup this weekend! All of your recipes I have tried have been awesome!

  4. I can't wait to make this soup! All of your recipes I have made have been excellent!

  5. This looks delicious! I can't wait to make this :)

  6. This looks wonderful! Pasta fagioli is one of my favorites!

  7. Autumn makes me want to put sage in everything---I love that the pasta gives such body to this soup and I caaan't wait to snuggle up with em!!

  8. This looks amazing!! I love soups in the winter. Such a nice and comforting way to fill up!

  9. OMGosh...this sounds wonderful! But I fail to see how sitting on the floor with the whole pot and eating right from the label qualifies as "weirdo". I would be right there with ya. LOL :)

  10. Looks terrific. Great minds think alike. We just had a version of this one on the blog last week. Your picture is great.

  11. I love that you wanted to eat this soup straight from the ladle. Clearly I need to try it!


  12. This is the first time i have ever heard of Fagioli Soup. Clearly i have been missing out. If i was to do this, i wouldn't add as much garlic. I think that much garlic might make it too powerful, but i am gonna have to try it and find out

    1. It was definitely just the right amount - if anything, garlic lovers could even add more! 5 cloves might sound like a lot, but be aware that this makes a very large quantity of soup.


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