Monday, September 19, 2011

Recipe Recommendation: Three Bean Pasta and Fagioli

Honey Bear and I--well, mostly Honey Bear--made this soup for the first time last night, and it was delicious. It reminded us of Julia Child’s soupe au pistou (page 45 in the teal-and-orange edition of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING), but it didn’t take quite as long.

Here’s Rachael Ray’s recipe, and here’s our version. The only difference between them is the first ingredient--bacon:)

Three Bean Pasta and Fagioli

1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 to 4 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stems fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
Salt and black pepper, preferably freshly ground
1 15-ounce can white beans
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup dry ditalini
1/2 pound fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
Grated Romano or parmesan cheese

Fry the bacon in a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. (If you like crispier bacon, you could let the bacon fry longer. But keep in mind, this bacon is going to cook longer, anyway--and it’s going to be swimming in a soup, so, you know, it’s probably not going to stay crispy.) Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf, then salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the canned beans and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. If you’re using fresh green beans, add the pasta and let everything simmer for 5 minutes, then add the green beans and let all that simmer for another 4 to 5 minutes. If you’re using frozen green beans, add the pasta and green beans at the same time and let the soup simmer for 9 to 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Taste and correct seasoning, if necessary. Discard the rosemary stems and bay leaf, then serve in shallow bowls and garnish with the grated cheese.

This really is a lovely fall soup. (Not that it feels like fall in Mesquite yet...) If you decide to try it, let me know what you think!


Caryn Caldwell said...

This sounds delicious! We aren't really soup people, but I think it's because I haven't found anything hearty enough to qualify as a meal (other than chili, if that counts). This one sounds perfect, though! Well, minus the onion...

Emily R. King said...

Yum! This is a great light recipe, except for the bacon I mean. Ha!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

This makes me excited for fall. I made soup a couple times this summer and my family just looked at me like, "Seriously?" I love soup-- I'll have to try this in a month or two. Thanks, Krista!


erica and christy said...

When Christy started her blog, it was mostly about recipes she loved that her family refused to eat - and this sounds like one that would work for us both (we'd love it, families=not so much). Congrats for getting yours to eat it!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Caryn, I know what you mean. Soups tend to take a while to make, so you want it to count as a meal. We definitely ate this as our main course last night, with some kind of bread product on the side.

Ah, yes, E.R., except for the bacon:) You'll notice Rachael Ray's recipe just sautes the vegetables in olive oil, so if you're looking for something a little less heavy, I'd go with hers. (You could even substitute vegetable stock/broth for the chicken broth and make it a straight-up vegetarian dish.)

Amy, I love soup, too! I've been craving a good bowl of homemade french onion lately, but that takes longer to make (and isn't quite as filling).

Well, erica, half of our family eats it, anyway:) My four- and two-year-old are pretty picky eaters (the two-year-old's just taken after her brother that way), but we're trying to expand their palates (and not just have pizza and macaroni and cheese every night).

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks, Krista! This looks very good, and with the bacon in it, I'm pretty sure my fam will eat it. :o)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

It is good, Myrna. The major difference between this recipe and Julia Child's is the lemon zest and juice, and that little addition makes the soup even better. Amazing how much one small thing can change (in soups and in manuscripts).

Dana said...

You had me at bacon. Seriously, this sounds like a yummy soup. It's not quite cold enough in Georgia yet, but I'll be sure to try this one out when it is cooler. Another quick and simple soup/chili for a cool night is rotisserie chicken chili. (Rotisserie chicken is my best friend.) You throw 2 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken, 1 can of white beans, 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of corn, and a package of white chili seasoning in a crock pot and cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1-2 hours. Top with fritos and cheese. Enjoy!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Dana, thanks for sharing your recipe! Sounds easy and filling!