No matter how sweltering it gets outside, I will never be one to opt for cold dinners. A chilled side salad, maybe, but there’s something about a hot homemade meal after a long day that just can’t be beat.
Enter pasta e fagioli–all the heartiness of a pasta dish, comfort of soup, and flavors of summer. Aka BEST SOUP EVER.
And this is coming from a girl who almost never goes a night without some type of meat or seafood. The beans not only add satisfying protein, but they create an AMAZING rich texture when blended in the soup. And with only half pureed, you still get all the wonderful texture of the veggies.
Plus yummy little macaronis and tender asparagus that cook right in! And don’t forget the CHEEEEEESE.
Here I left out the asparagus and had a side salad instead: Romaine, artichokes, red onion, roasted red peppers, sliced olive, Italian cheese, toasted pine nuts, and a quick dijon balsamic dressing (unbelievable flavor!). And some whole grain bread for good measure.
- 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/3 cup chopped carrot
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried fennel seed
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups chicken broth*
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 1.5 cups canned white beans, rinsed and drained
- 3.2 oz whole grain macaroni
- 6 oz asparagus, roughly chopped
- 1.5 oz freshly shredded parmesan**
- Heat EVOO in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sauté 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic, fennel, dried herbs, and black pepper, and cook another minute.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 30 minutes.
- Transfer half of soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then return to pot. (Or blend partially with an immersion blender.)
- Bring soup to a boil and add pasta. Cover, reduce to medium-low, and cook about 8 minutes. Add chopped asparagus and cook 3 minutes longer, or until pasta and asparagus are tender.
- Divide into bowls and top with shredded cheese.
- *Vegetable broth for vegetarian
- **Try subbing mozzarella, fontina, asiago, or an Italian blend.