Now this is the kind of soup I really like. It’s the first recipe from my new best friend called The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook put out by America’s Test Kitchen. Just flipping through the pages of this thing makes me crazy. So much good stuff!
This recipe encapsulates everything I enjoy about eating. It’s got a lot of tasty ingredients, it’s very well flavored, robust, plentiful, has great texture and fills me up perfectly. And the best part is that there’s nothing to feel guilty about. I’m not sure there’s anything in it that’s bad for you besides the salt. If you don’t like salt, all you need to do is not add it. It’s that simple.
I began preparing this soup yesterday afternoon and I’d say the entire thing took about 40 minutes. There are a few things to prep and some cooking time where I had to wait around, but overall, this one is easy. I love adding ingredients to a big pot and watching it all come together. Flavors like this sort of meld into one another and the final product is awesome. This is one Italian dish I’ll definitely be making again. Just look at it.
4 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
1 Fennel Bulb, Trimmed and Chopped
2 Celery Ribs, Sliced into 1/2 Inch Pieces
4 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
3 Anchovy Fillets, Minced
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Zest of 1 Orange
1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 28-Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes
2 15-Ounce Cans Cannellini Beans, Rinsed
3 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
2 1/2 Cups Water
Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 Cups Dried Ditalini Pasta
1/4 Cup Parsley, Chopped
Parmesan For Serving, Grated
According to the instructions, it’s fine to substitute the type of pasta you use for this recipe. I tend to favor ditalini, but you can certainly use something else that’s small, like orzo or tubettini. Just be sure to account for the size and density of whatever it is you use. I’d say 1 1/2 cups for the ditalini and tubettini is equal to 1 cup or orzo.
Soften the Onion, Fennel & Celery
Warm a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the pot is to temperature, add the olive oil, onion, fennel and celery.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until these ingredients begin to soften.
Stir in More Ingredients
After this time, add in the garlic, orange zest, anchovies, oregano, pepper flakes and fennel seeds.
Stir these ingredients into the others and let cook for about 2 more minutes.
At this point, you should begin smelling some deliciousness.
Add Tomatoes & Beans
Add in the can of diced tomatoes, including any juice that’s in the can.
Then, make sure the beans are drained and rinsed. Add them to the pot as well. Stir.
Raise the heat to high until the soup begins to simmer. Then, lower the heat back down to medium and let cook for 10 minutes. This should bring some of the flavors together.
Add Remaining Ingredients
After the 10 minutes has passed, stir in the broth and the water.
Also add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper and increase the heat to high again. Once the liquid is boiling, add the pasta to the pot. Stir in the pasta and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until it becomes tender yet firm. Once that’s done, turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.
Plate & Serve
Once the cooking is finished, divide the soup between bowls. You may also add some grated Parmesan cheese at this point. Serve and enjoy!
The Final Pasta e Fagioli Soup
I think I’m going to save this recipe for some time in November because it seems like it’s going to be perfect for chilly weather. It looks, smells and tastes great, so I’m excited. Give this soup and try and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!