Easy Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Talk about comfort food. Pasta e fagioli is an Italian dish that literally means "pasta and beans." Once considered a peasant dish because it consisted only of inexpensive ingredients, the Italian staple has countless variations. Many recipes use bacon or pancetta, but I love the simplicity and overwhelming goodness of this version, crammed with flavor and texture from a variety of fresh and dried herbs, vegetables, white beans, tomato sauce and tube-shaped pasta. Even better? The soup is low in saturated fat and crammed with fiber, boasting 16 grams per serving.
For a completely vegetarian version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (cannellini or Great Northern), rinsed and drained
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add the rosemary and thyme sprigs (with their stems), bay leaves, oregano, salt, and pepper and stir to coat. Add the broth, beans, tomato sauce, and water and increase the heat to high. Bring to a rapid boil.
2. Stir in the pasta, reduce the heat to medium, partially cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary and thyme sprigs (most of the herbs will have fallen off the stems and into the soup). Ladle soup into bowls and top with the Parmesan cheese.