Friday, February 20, 2009

First Foodie Friday! Pasta e Fagioli Soup



I am participating in the first "Foodie Friday" event, hosted by Gollum on her beautiful blog, Designs By Gollum, today. Be sure to visit Gollum's blog and follow her Mr. Linky links to see all the other wonderful Foodie Friday blog posts for today's event!

"Pasta e Fagioli" or "Pasta and Beans" is a favorite comfort soup found in many homes of Italian ethnicity. Just as there many regions and towns in Italy, there are a tremendous number of local variations for this soup's recipe, and all are good! There is nothing like a bowl of hearty soup to warm you on a cold Winter's day!

In my version of pasta e fagioli soup I add mini ground turkey meatballs and one of my favorite soup vegetables: escarole.

Ground beef, meatballs or diced pancetta can be substituted for the turkey meatballs if so desired, and spinach can be substituted for the escarole, or both can be left out entirely. I also used red kidney beans in my recipe, but more often you'll see white cannelini beans used. You can also use one can of each.

Be creative! There is no right or wrong as long as your soup tastes good!

First, prepare your mini turkey meatballs using your favorite recipe and set aside. I used one pound of ground turkey.

Next, in a large stock pot, saute a diced onion, two stalks of diced celery, two carrots diced, and one diced sweet red pepper in a few tablespoons of olive oil until they are soft. Add two large diced cloves of garlic.

Pour in one 32 ounce container of prepared chicken broth and one 28 ounce can of chopped plum tomatoes, stir well.

Add a bay leaf, some springs of rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, one teaspoon dried basil, crumbled, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Have another pot started full of water to boil to cook the pasta. A 12 0r 16 ounce small pasta such as small shells, elbow macaroni, ditalini, etc., is best. When pasta is cooked, drain and hold to the side.

Simmer soup on medium heat until all comes to a low boil. Add the mini meatballs and continue to simmer at a low boil, stirring occasionally.

When the meatballs are firm, and almost cooked through, add two 15.5 ounce cans of drained and rinsed red kidney beans. Stir well and continue to simmer.

Turn up heat and add two medium bunches of rinsed and dried chopped escarole, a little at a time, continually stirring until all is added. It will wilt down quickly. Once wilted turn down heat again to a low boiling simmer.

Add the small pasta cooked "al dente," which means slightly hard to the tooth when it is tasted, as it will absorb some more flavor when added to the soup and become softer. Stir well.
Remove bay leaf, adjust seasonings to your taste, and serve!
It's wonderful eaten with a sprinkle of freshly ground Parmesan or Romano cheese on top. Serve with a nice crusty loaf of bread and it is a complete satisfying and healthy meal.
Buon appetito!

49 comments:

Barb said...

looks good....Barb

Susan said...

Looks delicious!

Happy Foodie Friday!

Susan

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, I will be right over with my appetite in place! WOW! Girl, you really are cookin' with gas here! Looks divine! Of course, all of your recipes and cooking challenges are. Have you ever met a food you couldn't cook to perfection?

Loved it, Pat!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Mama said...

Hey there Pat, Happy Foodie Friday, We had this in Italy once, I can almost smell the aroma, what a perfect choice to take to Gollum's party, I will try your recipe, H&S will love it. Have a wonderful weekend, hugs, Kathy.

Gollum said...

I love this soup! It's robust and yet soothing. My family would love this. I'm thrilled that you joined the potluck!!!
Best,
Gollum

imjacobsmom said...

Jacob is going to love you! This is his favorite soup at the Olive Garden! Now we can make it at home. ~ Robyn

Happy To Be said...

Oh this sounds so yummy and looks so great...but I will tell you girl I was so bsuy looking at Leo on your side bar...he is just Darling I have a Great grand daughter that was also born in Dec and have her pics on my side bar aslo..December was a great Month...thanks for sharing...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Gracie said...

For us no veggies, just beans, (whole and purea) with broth and pasta. But this soup looks really yummy!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Looks delicious, Pat. We love soups of all kinds and I know we would enjoy this one!

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Pat this recipe sounds delicious! I can tell that you are a fabulous cook!

My dietitian had convinced me to try ground turkey. I used it in my taco soup and it was great! gonna try it in spaghetti soon!

Tracy said...

mmm...mmm....good, Pat! This is a great soup, great recipe. Nothing like soup to cheer and comfort a winter's day. :o) Happy weekend ((HUGS))

CC said...

That looks delicious! My hubby loves Pasta e Fagioli!

Mmmm....


Carolyn

steviewren said...

Pat, I was just thinking about making Pasta E Fagioli! I appreciate the recipe because mine was made up with what I thought was in the soup. I've never known what is supposed to be in it other than kidney beans, meat, pasta, tomatoes and seasonings. Adding the escarole would make it so much healthier.

I'm definitely going to make it now...your way. It makes a wonderful healthy easy to grab on the way out the door lunch.

Junie Moon said...

How delicious this looks; your pictures make me hungry and it's only 6:48 in the morninig here at my house. Thanks for sharing the link to more yummy things to discover, too.

aliceinparis said...

wow, a real stick to your ribs dish! I love soup!!!!
cheers, Shelagh

Vee said...

It looks delicious and nutritious and beautiful! (Probably a little too green for my personal tastes, but that's an immature person's not wanting to eat her veggies talking.) I know that my beloved would love this soup so I'll be snagging it just for him. Thanks!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

On this cold, windy day, this soup is the perfect meal for comfort. It also happens to be one of my husbands favorite. Shopping list is written, and soup will be made for dinner tonight. Thanks!
♥, Susan

CC said...

How did you find her Mr. Linky? I found your site from her site, but I don't know how to link up mine so that I can be in the Links to this post list of foodie entries...

Please help!

Carolyn

mbkatc230 said...

Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. This has always been one of my favorites, but was never quite sure how to go about making it, most of the recipes I've found aren't the type that I love and this one is! Love the addition of the escarole. Kathy

ARLENE said...

Pat, we had pasta e fagiola for dinner night before last. I love your addition of escarole and mini meatballs. It's like pasta e fagiola meets wedding soup. I'm going to try it next time.

once in a blue moon... said...

umm, sounfs delish!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I know where I would like to have dinner tonight! Thanks for sharing.

Shelia said...

Oh, I want some of that! It looks delicious.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Oliag said...

Yummy! and I love escarole...I'll be sure to try this recipe!

Strider said...

This is a good day for some soup for sure....yours looks good. My wife made me Lentile soup last night....ate two huge bowl fulls!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Oh Pat, that is one of my most favorite soups and yours looks so tasty! My mouth is actually watering.....I am so hungry! LOL

Melissa Miller said...

Love this soup Pat!
I admit the only time I have ever eaten is at the Olive Garden though. That's probably a no no to a true Italian huh?

Thank you so much for the well wishes today!
You're the best for thinking of us! :)

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Pat, That soup sounds too good to be true! I have some turkey thawing for lunch tomorrow, I may have to run to the market and pick up a few things to make that soup!

jeanne said...

Hello Pat, you are the first person I thought of when I saw the 'Foodie Friday' event. Smile. I am going to attempt to make your delicious soup as soon as I am back on my feet. I adore a good pot of homemade soup and never tire of it in the winter. I'll keep you informed when I make the plunge. I have to get off of this confounded walker. Smile.

Have a wonderful day.

Hugs...Jeanne

Linda said...

Mama mia! That looks fantastic!
Linda

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

Nothing like a gooooood soup on a cold winter day!

Sue said...

My husband loves any kind of Italian soup..Your recipe looks terrific and if half as good as your other recipes I have tried we are in for a treat....Thanks Pat..

Bo said...

Hi Pat... my DH is not a big soup fan;however, he's sitting here with me right now & when I clicked on your site...he said, "now I could eat that!"...You are a marvelous cook no doubt! ;-) Bo

M.Kate said...

wow...YUMMMY...miss you a lot Pat, so glad to be coming over again..and food...wish I could just come over and eat here :D

Foley said...

This is my sons FAV soup..will have to try this recipe and have him do a comparison test for me!!

My Crafty Little Page said...

Oh my gosh - I'm early for Pink Saturday and you Foodie Friday people are really tempting me. Don't be surprised if a bunch of hungry bloggers show up on your doorstep! Have a Fabulous Foodie Friday or a Perfect Pink Saturday! :)Nancy

prof en retraite said...

OK...now this is what I always get at Olive Garden...yes, I know you are laughing because I'm sure there's no comparison to homemade! Soooo...I'm going to copy and paste your recipe and give it a try! Hope I can find everything! Thanks...Debbie

Proud Italian Cook said...

I just made escarole and bean soup yesterday, but I wold have loved those mini meatballs!

Diane said...

This looks so delicious! ♥ Diane

Knitting Mania said...

Oh yay...I grew up on this stuff, yum, this so reminds me of my mother's cooking. Thanks for the memories Pat.

KM

CatHerder said...

Oh yum..my mom always made that when i was growing up...never put any meat in it though

Maryann said...

Hi Pat! Our family makes it differently, but like you say, that is the beauty of it all. Keep cooking and have a wonderful day :)

tales from an O.C. cottage said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh yuuuuuuuuuuummm!!!

M ^..^

Donna said...

Oh my gosh, it looks delicious!

Donna

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I grew up on this stuff! In fact, I just made pasta e fagioli a few nights ago with some spicy Italian sausage.

I'm thrilled to have found your site. I'm an Italian girl originally from the Bronx. I also have a bottle of Mille Fiori liqueur sitting in my dining room buffet! :)

Paz said...

Oh, I want some of this right now. Had a tooth pulled yesterday. I'm starved. *sigh*

Paz

david mcmahon said...

This would have been a huge favourite in my home.

(I came here from Quintessential Magpie)

ann said...

i'll have to try this yummy...ann

Fifi Flowers said...

I could use some of that soup RIGHT NOW! Yummy!