Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a bowl of vegan pasta e fagioli. This Italian pasta and white bean soup is loaded with clean but delicious flavor from rosemary and tomatoes, and it makes the perfect meal by itself or with a hunk of grilled Italian bread.
Course: Soup/EntreeCuisine: ItalianDiet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings Calories: 387kcal
▢¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
▢6-8 cloves garlic (crushed or minced)
▢1 large carrot
▢2 stalks celery
▢1 medium onion
▢3 cups cooked white beans (or two cans of white beans like cannellini, navy beans or great northern beans)
▢1 teaspoon dried rosemary
▢1 teaspoon dried oregano
▢1 dried bay leaf (optional)
▢½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
▢28 oz canned plum tomatoes (crush whole tomatoes with your fingers)
▢4 cups mushroom stock (or vegetable stock)
▢8 oz ditalini pasta (or any small pasta shape like orzo or elbows)
▢¼ cup vegan parmesan (for garnish)
Rough-chop the onions, carrots and celery and place them in a food processor. Pulse until chopped fine. You can also mince the veggies by hand, but the food processor just makes it quicker. Mincing the veggies fine will help them melt into the soup as they cook, adding body and flavor to the soup.
Cook the pasta until a couple of minutes short of al dente. Drain, rinse under running water, and set aside.
Heat EVOO in large pot or Dutch oven along with the crushed garlic. Saute until the garlic begins to turn a light golden.
Add the soffrito veggies to the pot–carrots, onions and celery. Add some salt and ground black pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium low heat or until the soffrito has cooked down but has not browned.
Add the rosemary, oregano and red pepper flakes to the pot and mix in.
Add the beans to the pot followed by the tomatoes. Mix.
Add four cups of hot mushroom stock or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat.
Stir in the cooked pasta and mix well.
Continue cooking the soup for another two minutes, check seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Turn off heat and serve hot or warm. Garnish soup bowls with vegan parmesan and, if you want, a drizzle of EVOO.
Always cook the pasta before you add it to the rest of the soup. Some cooks add dry pasta to the soup and let it cook in the liquid. But pasta lets out a lot of starch and this can make the soup taste gummy and starchy. Instead cook the pasta separately and turn off the heat a couple of minutes before it reaches that perfect al dente texture. Add it to the soup and the pasta will continue to cook for a couple more minutes without giving out as much starch. This is especially important if you use gluten-free pasta, which is very starchy.
The starches in the beans and pasta do thicken up this soup quite a bit. But add four cups of stock at the beginning and add more later if you want the dish to be soupier but only after adding in the beans.
Always add hot stock or broth to the pot so you don’t temporarily stop the cooking process. Keep a pot of stock simmering next to the soup pot or warm the stock in the microwave.
You can make this vegan pasta e fagioli a day or two ahead, but it will thicken as it stands. Thin out with stock and reheat before serving.
I love the pasta fagioli by itself but if you want to add a little extra oomph serve with a piece of crusty grilled bread drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a clove of garlic. You can also serve a leafy salad on the side.
Refrigerate: You can store the pasta fagioli for up to three days in the fridge.
Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container or freezer safe container for up to three months.
Reheat: Thaw the soup, preferably in the fridge overnight, and reheat over the stovetop or in the microwave. Thin out with stock as necessary.
Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Potassium: 956mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2286IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 6mg