We’re knee deep in winter here in the northeast. Literally, becasue we got another foot of snow last week. My back yard is looking more like Sochi than Hopkinton, and I’m guessing most of the country is feeling the same way. It’s been one of the longest and coldest winters I can remember in a long time. I’m thinking about putting away the car and buying a luge to get around instead. Do you think they come with heated seats?
So, cold and snow can only mean one thing – soup for dinner! I hope you’re not tired of it yet, because we still have at least another month or more to go 🙂 . Pasta e fagioli is a great winter-warmer-upper because it’s filling and hearty. It’s also a perfect choice for Meatless Monday. Couldn’t be an easier one-pot meal with lots of veggies, protein from the beans, and starch from the pasta.
I’ve seen at least as many different variations on this soup as there are beans and pasta shapes. Usually I use Ditalini pasta, the small tubes, in this recipe and I had a slight panic attack when I realized I was out. Luckily I’m well stocked on my ancient grains, and I substituted one of my new favorites – farro. Worked like a charm, and I actually preferred the chewier texture. Farro is also much higher in fiber and protein than white pasta, so sorry Ditalini – I have a new friend for this soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound carrots peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 stalks celery chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup farro
- 2 cups packed chopped baby kale (stems removed)
- 1-15 ounce can white cannelloni beans drained and rinsed
- 1-15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch fresh basil chopped
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil on high heat in a large stockpot, and sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic until softened.
- Add tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables.
- Add broth and farro, and stir well. Bring soup to a boil, and then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 45 minutes, or until farro is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Using an immersion blender, puree soup so that it's partly smooth but with some chunks of vegetables remaining. Alternately, remove about 2 cups of solids with some broth and puree in a blender. Add blended portion back to soup pot.
- Add drained beans, kale and basil. Return soup to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Are you watching the Olympics? What’s your favorite winter sport?