January 19, 2010

Two Bean Pasta e Fagioli

Nothing better than a bowl of hot & healthy soup on a cold winter day! And, did you know that one of the ways that french women stay so slim is that they have soup as one of their courses?  Fills the tummy with so much yumminess and makes you feel full.

This recipe is adapted from none other than Rachel Ray, one of my favorite TV chefs.  Guy Fieri is another.  I just love it when I can watch two cooking shows on a Sunday morning and have my menu made for the first part of the week.  So, thank YOU Guy and Rachel!

It has become rare that I don't end up tweaking a recipe, even from famous chefs like Guy or Rachel. We all have different tastes, and, sometimes I don't have everything that the recipe calls for, so I improvise.  And, this week's recipe, an Italian bean & pasta fagioli, did get the ol' c-swee treatment.  You can find Rachel's original recipe here if you're interested.  I'm sure hers is good too . . . just a guess! ;)


2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3-4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 stems of rosemary, stripped and chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
1/4 t sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1 15oz can cannellini, navy or great northern beans
1 15oz can chick peas
1 6oz can tomato paste w/basil, garlic & oregano
4 cups chicken stock (I used Emeril's All Natural)
2 cups water
1 cup mini brown rice penne, uncooked
1 lemon zested and juiced
Handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

  1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Chop the carrot, celery, onions, garlic, and rosemary, dumping them in as you go. Add bay leaf, salt and pepper, and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the stock and water, then cover and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the pasta and let simmer in the soup for 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
  6. Turn off the heat, and add the lemon zest, lemon juice and the parsley.
To serve, ladle the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with cheese.

(NOTE: The photo above and to the right is day 2 - you can see that it is more like a stew than soup because the pasta absorbed lots of the broth. To avoid this, cook the pasta in a separate pot and add as needed. If you like it thick, Rachel says you can fry up the thick stew in a skillet for a completely different kind of meal, too!)

Bon appetit!



  1. Hi there, Hubs here. I liked the thicker day-2 soup. The spices had a chance to settle in, like in 2 day old chili, it seems to be more flavorful than the first helping.
    Also, for our vegetarian friends & family, swap out veggie stock for the chicken stock, and there you go... Yum!

  2. Sounds totally delish! Gonna add it to the repertoire I think! I posted today a recipe for 'healthified' chicken nuggets that my kids LOVED! check it out!

    PS - GREAT JOB on the weight loss! It feels good, doesn't it? You are right, we ARE going to make it!

  3. Looks very good! I'll have to try this one!

  4. My hubs is right. This also makes a good base soup, adding in fish, or sausage or chicken, very versatile. We've become soup people I think!

    @Minnesota Mami I saw your healthy chicken nuggets recipe, that would make a great super bowl treat I think! Thanks for the encouragement, too. ;)

    @Design Girl If you do, let me know what you think, ok?