You can’t beat the simplicity of pasta e fagioli, aka Italian pasta and bean soup. It’s comforting, healthy and will have your family begging for more. 242 calories and 5 Weight Watchers Freestyle SP
So often the best recipes are not the ones from some fancy shmancy restaurant cookbook, but rather the ones learned at grandmother’s side. They are the recipes that are frequently passed down verbally from generation to generation, but rarely written down with pen and paper.
My friend, Liz of The Lemon Bowl (you know her well from our Healthy New Year Challenge) has taken on an amazing project – capturing the recipes of her family and her husband’s family in a series of eCookbooks, starting with Food From Our Ancestors: The Ultimate Italian Sunday Dinner. The eCookbook is only $3.99 (less than a latte!) and features recipes such as Spinach & Potato Frittata, Sunday Gravy and Uncle Vinny’s Shrimp Scampi (I can tell that I already like Uncle Vinny).
The wonderful thing about good Italian food is that the ingredients lists are often very basic. It’s the quality of the ingredients and the seasoning that makes the difference. Good olive oil, high quality canned tomatoes, fresh basil and so on.
Pasta e fagioli, otherwise known as pasta and beans is a classic vegetarian soup that is hearty and healthy, and practically begs for a piece of crusty bread to dunk into the broth. You may have seen me making Liz’s recipe on Snapchat and my Instagram stories (I’m @cookincanuck in both places). What you didn’t hear was my family’s enthusiastic reviews of the soup, including T (my younger son) saying, “I could eat this every night.” That says it all.
Other healthy vegetarian soup recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup
Cookin’ Canuck’s 30-Minute Rice Noodle Soup with Mushrooms & Kale
A Cedar Spoon’s Thai Coconut Zoodle Soup
The Healthy Maven’s Quinoa Tortilla Soup
Eating Bird Food’s Roasted Garlic Lentil Soup
Pasta e Fagioli Recipe (Italian Pasta & Bean Soup)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning mixture of oregano, parsley, basil, etc.
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 6 cups water
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian
- 1 15 ounce can of red kidney beans, reduced sodium, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can of cannellini or Great Northern beans (reduced sodium), drained & rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), reduced sodium, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound ditalini or elbow pasta cooked according to package
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- grated Parmesan cheese for serving leave off for vegetarian or use asiago
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot and saute onion, garlic and spices until just tender about 4-5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and stir well. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the water, chicken stock and beans to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in cooked pasta and parsley just before serving. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread for dunking, if desired.
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