Soup season is well underway! It’s easy to make, it warms you up, it’s great for leftovers/lunch at work and can be a very healthy meal. Plus you can usually make a great soup with items left in your fridge and a can of beans or lentils.
Pasta e fagioli is one of my favorites, sprinkled with a little parmigiano cheese and you have yourself a comforting well-rounded meal! This soup is packed with veggies and proteins and vegetarians can make it without the sausage.
- 1 link, Hot Italian sausage (you can substitute sweet sausage, pancetta, prosciutto or skip the meat all together. But it definitely gives it a nice flavor)
- Sprinkle of fennel seeds (optional- but I love the flavor it adds to the sausage)
- 2 garlic cloves (optional)
- 1/2 of an onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 carrot stalks
- 2 small sweet red peppers- or one bell pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 1 can white cannelloni beans
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 container chicken broth
- Pasta of your choosing- about 1 cup (I recommend a tiny noodle)
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh basil
- Fresh parmigiano cheese
The nice thing about this soup is you don’t have to include all the veggies or beans I used. It’s all about what you have on hand!
Chop all your veggies and garlic.
Get your large soup pot on medium to high heat, add a little oil and add your sausage. Break it up into tiny pieces with a wooden spoon and brown it.Add in the fennel seeds now if you’re using them.
Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
Then add the carrots, celery and peppers. Stir and let cook for another 2 minutes.
Then add zucchini and your can of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir all the ingredients together.
Add in the beans and turn the heat up on the pot.
Bring it up to a boil. Then reduce. Let the soup cook with the lid cracked. You then have two options with the pasta.
Either 1) bring your soup up to a low boil and add the pasta in 10 minutes before you’re ready to eat or 2) boil your pasta separately in hot water and add to each dish based on how much you want.
I tend to prefer option 2 only because the noodles will soak up a lot of your broth otherwise. But sometimes option 1 is just easier. Have extra chicken broth on hand in case your broth gets soaked up.
The soup is really ready at any time because all the ingredients are cooked through, but I like to let it simmer for at least a half hour to let all the flavors meld. Then eat with fresh basil and parmigiano cheese.