This has to be one of my most favorite soups. I have had a cold for this last few days and when I have a cold (which is rare!), I want soup! Chicken noodle, minestrone and pasta e fagioli are my favorites. Plus it is winter and we just had a blizzard! Definitely calls for soup, right?
I found this recipe in my Giada De Laurentiis Giada's Family Dinners cookbook. It does not disappoint and is very easy! Here are the steps:
Saute onion, garlic and pancetta. Now, I never have pancetta on hand always forget to get it at the grocery store. What I do always have on hand is Canadian bacon and prosciutto. I used Canadian bacon for this.
While that is sauteing, you need to make a sachet of herbs. Fancy talk for put some herbs in cheesecloth. I just realized I forgot to add the bay leaf, lol, but it all turned out fine. Cut the herbs small enough to fit in the cloth and then tie it with kitchen twine.
See, easy! If you don't have cheesecloth you can just tie the herbs together and put them in the soup.
Here I have added the chicken broth, red kidney beans (rinsed and drained) and the sachet of herbs. Cover this and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Put about a cup of the bean mixture in a blender and puree until it is smooth. DO NOT USE A FOOD PROCESSOR. I thought I would save myself from bringing out the big old mixer by using my small food processor. All of the liquid came flying out and it was not pretty. So use the mixer. :)
Add it back to the soup and bring back to a boil. Then add your macaroni noodles and cook about 8 minutes. I used whole wheat pasta so I cooked it 10 minutes.
I grated fresh parmesan cheese and had it on the side to add to each serving. It definitely made the dish even better. Tried to send hubby to the store for crusty bread, but I got "the look" so it didn't happen. :) I think that would be a great addition to the soup!
Pasta e fagioli
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 ounces panchetta, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 5 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup elbow macaroni
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
DirectionsWrap the thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth and secure closed with kitchen twine. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, beans, and sachet of herbs. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Discard the sachet.
Puree 1 cup of the bean mixture in a blender until smooth. Before putting the puree back into the soup, add the macaroni and boil with the lid on until it is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Return the puree to the remaining soup in the saucepan and stir well. Season the soup with ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with some Parmesan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil just before serving.