Pasta Figioli Soup with Spinach & Tomatoes


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Pasta e figioli simply means pasta and beans. This is an antioxidant rich soup, loaded with vegetables, beans, fiber and protein that provides such an earthy, wholesome, real food flavor. I was roaming through the grocery store and found a bag of dried navy and white beans mixed with little tiny pasta noodles similar to acini de pepe noodles. Of course I grabbed a bag knowing it would make an amazing soup very similar to Minestrone. 

Normally I would cook the dried beans and then add the pasta at the end of cooking just long enough until the pasta becomes al dente, but cooking the pasta throughout, added extra thickness to the soup from the breakdown of the starch, similar to how potatoes act in a soup. With this in mind, it is important to cook at a medium boil verses a hot boil and remember to stir often. Stirring often will prevent the sugar that breaks down from the pasta from sticking to the pan and burning your pot of soup. So keep those two things in mind, lower temperature and stirring often.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 c. celery chopped
  • 2 c. carrots chopped
  • 16 oz. of pasta e figioli dried blend or any dried beans and small pasta, rinsed
  • 8 c. water
  • 1.5 c. diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 tomato sauce
  • 1.5 c. frozen or fresh chopped spinach leaves

Instructions:

  • In a large sauce pan, add garlic, onions, celery and carrots to extra virgin olive oil and saute over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Add beans, pasta and 6 c. water or enough water to fill pot about 3/4 full. Boil on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for about one hour or until beans are soft. Remember to keep stirring and turn down heat as needed.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and spinach.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes, remembering to stir.
  • Optional and recommended: sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and eat with warm, toasted or fresh baked whole grain bread and olive oil

Serve and Enjoy!

Find me on Facebook: Andrea Stewart, RD

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