this soup is fifteen years in the making.
i distinctly remember one winter in the mid '90s. the winter of bean soup. for whatever reason, my dad was all excited about beans. i'm sure my dad remembers it differently - and my teenage dramatics didn't help - but it was meal after meal of beans. which lead to my fifteen year avoidance of bean soup.
sure, i challenged myself this month to see if i really had the willpower to keep myself from eating meat, but i also knew that if i didn't have meat to fall back on for protein, that this month would be a chance for me to try new foods. find new sources of protein. or ways to use familiar ingredients differently. this soup is a classic example. it's all the flavors i already love - sauteed onion, celery, carrot, and garlic - tossed with pasta and cheese with creamy white cannellini beans tossed in.
it's the perfect meal for cold january nights. especially weeknights, since i had this prepped, cooked, and on the table in under 30 minutes. and since the high is 12 degrees on saturday and 5(!) degrees on sunday, i suggest you stock up on beans and other soup fixings as well.
lly easy to prepare. and did i mention they're a great way to eat meat-free?!
pasta e fagioli [pasta & beans]
adapted from the joy of cooking
30 minutes, serves 4
the original recipe called for 2 cups of chicken stock. when i checked on the pasta halfway through cooking, all the liquid was absorbed and i added another cup. even with the additional cup of stock, i had a rich, thick, creamy stew at the end.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
- in a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. add the onion, carrot, and celery, and saute about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
- add the garlic and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- add the beans and chicken stock. bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.
- add the elbows and season with salt. cover and simmer until the macaroni is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.
- season with salt & black pepper. stir in the romano cheese right before serving.