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Fabio's Pasta and Bean Soup

Chow Ciao
Shine from Yahoo! Canada
September 12, 2012

Nothing is better for families on a budget than the classic Pasta E Fagioli, Fabio's super simple and delicious one pot soup with pasta and beans. It's so flavourful, you'll forget that it's VEGETARIAN!

Tips:

  • Beans 101- High in protein and virtually fat-free, these delicious pods are versatile and packed with nutrients. The secret to cooking dry beans without soaking them overnight? Choose smaller beans.
  • Find the Perfect Pasta for Your Soup- Soup is a great place to use up spare pasta: break up large noodles, or just add small shapes. Don't add it until the last few minutes of cooking, and keep pasta on the side when storing soup for later use.
  • Cast-Iron Cookware-The Perfect Soup Pot. Cast-iron is able to maintain and withstand very high temperatures, so pots and pans are able to go from stovetop to oven with no hassle. Their heavy weight distributes heat evenly, ensuring perfectly cooked dishes.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 carrots, diced

1 onion, diced

2 celery stalks with leaves, diced

1 fennel bulb

3 bay leaves, dried

6 sprigs thyme

¾ lb. Borlotti beans

pinch sea salt

4 garlic cloves - grated

2-3 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

pinch sea salt

pinch fresh ground black pepper

extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

2 cups small shaped pasta

20 fresh basil leaves

Method:

Heat a large cast-iron pot over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil.

Add carrots, onions, and celery and stir.

Meanwhile, dice fennel. Add to pot and stir.

Strip the thyme sprigs over the pot and discard sticks. Add bay leaf.

Sauté about ten minutes, or until the vegetables caramelize and start to soften.

Add Borlotti beans and grated garlic; stir.

Add stock, canned tomatoes, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Stir, cover, and boil for one hour, or until beans are soft.

Add pasta and cook for five minutes. If you don't plan on serving the soup all at once, cook the pasta separately, and add to each bowl as you serve it. Otherwise, the pasta will soak up too much broth when stored.

Chop basil and add to pot. Stir thoroughly, and remove from heat.

Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.

MANGIA!

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