Although this meal is commonly known as Italian ‘peasant food’ and literally means ‘pasta and beans’, there is nothing boring about it.
These simple ingredients, combined with fresh rosemary, garlic, and roasted tomato paste transform this soup into a comforting bowl of goodness. I pureed some of the beans to add body and texture, but you can also make this a thinner, more stock based soup.
Besides being delicious, you’re able to feed 6 people for under $30. It comes together in under a half hour, but tastes like it’s been simmering all day. Hearty and healthy, this brightened up my Friday night after a long week. Happy eating!
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalk, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1T tomato paste
6 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1, 15oz can chopped tomatoes
1 Parmesan rind
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
3 cups cooked white beans (you can make your own, but I used 3, 15oz cans, rinsed)
½ lb small pasta (I used small shells, but any small, short cut pasta, such as ditalini works)
1 bunch of dark leafy greens, chopped (I used collard greens, but kale or swiss chard would be great)
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add 3T evoo. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until a nice crust starts to form on the bottom of the pan, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, parmesan rind, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, puree 1/3 of the beans with a ladle of the stock. Add to the pot, along with the rest of the beans. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Add your dark greens of choice and cook another minute, until the greens have wilted. Serve warm.
Ladle into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, and black pepper. Crusty bread is great for dunking.