Sunday, December 9, 2012

Herby Bean and Pasta Soup (Pasta e Fagioli) with Spinach for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

With my last two soups being on the "fancier" side (Curried Shrimp Bisque and Saffron-Flavored Garlic Soup with Potatoes), I was craving something simple, brothy and full of beans and veggies. A thrown together version of Pasta e Fagioli fit the bill. I had a bunch of leftover herbs to use up, but if you didn't, you could easily used dried, substituting in your favorites. 

Sometimes I like to cook the spinach in the soup, other times I like it just wilted so I put chopped spinach in the soup bowl and let it "cook" with the hot soup ladled in. I think it looks festive--like a little holiday wreath this way. ;-)

Herby Bean & Pasta Soup (Pasta e Fagioli) with Spinach
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 6 Servings)

1 Tbsp olive or canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely or 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely or 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped finely or or 1 1/2 tsp dried
3 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (15 oz) cans beans of choice, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini & kidney)
2 cups cooked small pasta like macaroni or ditalini
salt and black pepper to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (optional)
4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped thinly
freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and additional basil to garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Stir and cook until starting to soften--about 5 minutes. Add rosemary, parsley, thyme and sun-dried tomatoes and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Add beans and cook another 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in cooked pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper (if using) and stir in basil. 

To serve, place about 3/4 cup of chopped baby spinach in each soup bowl. (Shallow bowls work best.) Spoon in hot soup onto spinach and top with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: The herbs give this relatively quick to make soup great flavor combined with the veggies and pieces of sun-dried tomatoes. Rosemary and thyme love to be paired with beans. This is a basic soup--great for interpreting your way with your favorite ingredients, and it makes a wonderful warm and hearty nutritious dinner. I would make it again. 

We have some satisfying soups waiting in the Souper Sunday kitchen--let's take a look.

Nicola of Lemon and Cheese is back at Souper Sundays this week with a tasty and satisfying Portuguese Kale and Bean Soup and says, "This soup was awesome, it is such a comforting dish and it has lovely kale which makes it feel nice and healthy too."

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food offers up a creamy Portobello Mushroom Soup and says, "Here comes the intensely woodsy Portobello Mushroom Soup with the soup base started off with sauteed onions and mushrooms till onions are translucent and lightly caramelized (meaning...sweet!) and when mushrooms are tender-soft."

Joanne of Eats Well With Others made a hearty Tuscan Bean and Wheatberry Soup with Cabbage and Winter Squash as a cure for stress ;-) and says, "At least not until my nerves feel slightly less frayed, my post {office} traumatic stress disorder has resolved, and enough bowls of this soup (which tastes like good, old-fashioned comfort) have been consumed that I can believe again that there is some good in everyone."

Finally Janet of The Taste Space has a soup and a salad to share this week. First, her soupish Red Lentil and Spinach Curry (Vegan Tikka Masala) and says, "I made my own curry paste with toasted cumin and coriander seeds and combined it with ginger, cilantro, smoked paprika and garam masala. Tomato paste and pureed tomatoes made this a bit more complex and the cashew butter a more luscious body. Red lentils cook down into a mush and the spinach added a healthy bulk. A nice, solid curry.

Janet's salad is this pretty Hazelnut-Roasted Delicata Squash with Winter Hazelnut-Sage Pesto over spinach. She says, "You actually don’t need cups of sage to make this pesto. Instead sage is buffered with mild baby spinach to create a garlicky spread. Instead of pine nuts, I used toasted hazelnuts and hazelnut oil to flavour this winter pesto. The nutritional yeast adds the traditional cheesy taste but feel free to omit it. I chose to serve it with hazelnut-roasted delicata squash rings. Served on more greens, you have a very flavourful salad."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar and you'll find all the details. 

Have a happy, healthy week!  


  1. Herbs never fail to liven a soup. Looks great, Deb. :-)

  2. Ana @ Sweet Almond TreeDecember 9, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Beans and pasta.. soul warming and delicious!

  3. We were obviously thinking along the same lines this past week! Hearty and healthy for the win!

  4. www.teczcape.blogspot.comDecember 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    I like your herby, bean and pasta soup! comfort in a bowl.

  5. The spinach definitely looks like a Christmas wreath. Such a pretty soup, so full of color and my favorite...beans! You know I love it!

  6. Mm, your soup looks like an even tastier and healthier (yay spinach!) minestrone. With the decreasing temperature, my desire to eat soup just increases, and your post makes me want soup even more!

    That vegan tikka masala looks and sounds good too.


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