We don’t go to Olive Garden often, but when we do, we usually skip the pasta and go straight for the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks. While I always go for the chicken gnocci soup, my husband is a big fan of the pasta e fagoili – literally meaning pasta and beans. (Two of his favorite things!) This soup is very hearty, and packed with wholesome veggies and protein. Each batch makes quite a bit of soup, so there is plenty extra to freeze to enjoy all winter long.
Pasta E Fajoili Soup
Yields: 8-10 servings
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can beef broth (plus more for heating)
15 oz can red kidney beans (with liquid)
15 oz can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 oz dry ditalini pasta
In a large stockpot, brown the ground beef over medium heat until cooked through. Drain and return to the pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remainaing ingredients, except for the pasta, then simmer for 1 hour.
Just before the soup is done, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta, add to the soup and simmer for 5-10 minutes more. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and a nice big hunk of french bread.
*Freezer Friendly Tip* – this soup makes a ton, and freezes beautifully, but I would suggest freezing it without the pasta in it, since sometimes pasta does not hold up well in the freezer and gets mushy. Just make fresh pasta before you eat.
Source: Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats