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Pasta e Fagioli for this Souper Sunday

Time for that weekly dose of soup! My contribution to this week's Souper Sunday is a Pasta e Fagioli... a soup pasta and beans. I love a good fagiol that takes a few hours to make from dried beans, but sometimes I really do not feel like taking the time to soak (even quick-soak) the beans and I want something quick. I always try to keep some canned beans in the pantry, along with some canned tomatoes and of course a few types of pasta! Another thing I try to always keep around is fresh herbs and some sort of stock or broth, be it in the freezer or in the pantry. Along with onions, garlic and bacon (again, I usually have these) and a couple of staple condiments, I was able to make a tasty Pasta e Fagioli!

Pasta e Fagioli
recipe by girlichef
yield: 2-3 quarts

1/4 lb. bacon (I used peppercorn crusted, but regular will do), cut into 1/4" strips
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
parmesan rind (optional)
Sprig rosemary
sprig thyme
couple of bay leaves
1/4 c. rough chopped parsley
3 quarts stock, broth or water
15 oz can tomatoes in juice, chopped (or can of diced)
2 (~15 oz) cans of beans of your choice (I used kidney & pink combo)
1/2 lb. Ditalini pasta (or your choice), cooked until al dente...reserve 1 c. pasta water
Sea salt & Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan, fresh grated

Heat a large dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add bacon and cook until done to your liking.

Add your chopped vegetables and herbs to the pot with the bacon & it's grease.
Saute for a few minutes, while stirring occasionally, until veggies start to soften.
As you stir, you will scrape all that wonderful flavor from the bacon (fond) from the bottom of the pot...adding to the flavor your building up.
Once veggies have started to soften, add your parmesan rind and your liquid.
Bring soup to a boil...let it bubble for a couple of minutes. Then add drained & rinsed beans and tomatoes to pot.
Add your reserved pasta & pasta water if you remembered to save some. Boil for a couple more minutes to let it all come together. Discard bay leaves, rosemary & thyme sprigs. Season to taste with salt & pepper...and if you're like me, gnaw on the parmesan rind for a minute...or throw it straight away. Ladle hot into bowls.
Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, some grated Parmesan and some fresh cracked black pepper.


So simple and so tasty and so easy...what more could you ask for? Okay yes, a good loaf of crusty Italian bread to sop up the remains and a glass of wine, but then...what more could you ask for? Be sure to head over to Kahakai Kitchen to get a gander at more soup on the Souper Sunday Roundup!