“Since hunger is the most primitive and permanent of human wants, men always want to eat, but since their wish not to be a mere animal is also profound, they have always attended with special care to the manners which conceal the fact that at the table we are animals feeding.” - John Erskine

06 February 2012

pasta e fagioli soup

I’ve mentioned this soup before as my husband’s favorite.  The only one he’ll eat happily and without complaint.  We have tried several recipes, but keep coming back to this one.  I’ve had some difficulty figuring out how to include the beans, however.  My sweetie doesn’t like beans.  He really doesn’t like beans.  I’ve halved the amount I put in ~ no dice.  Quartered the amount.  Still get requests for no beans baby.  So I thought I’d try powdered beans.  Yep, they make those.  Hard to find ~ I ended up buying some of these online to try.  They came in flakes, which I put in my food processor to break them up and then ran them through my wheat grinder.  Worked out quite well.  I ended up using way too much (in my opinion the soup tasted a little “mealy”) but my husband didn’t even notice.  He ate a huge bowl full and then went back for more.  So now I know how to add beans without complaints.  From him anyway.  As I said, it was a little mealy for me, although Oldest loved it.  Littlest and Middlest refused to even try the soup.  Little stinkers.  I’m going to have to stop cooking soup for a while.  Wish that groundhog (or in our area, Sunset Sam the guniea pig) hadn’t predicted 6 more weeks of winter...
Sunset Sam, our local weather predictor.
Pasta E Fagioli Soup
½ pound ground beef
½ pound mild Italian sausage
1 small onion, diced
2 large carrots grated or julienned
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 oz.) can great northern beans with liquid
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 can V-8 juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon mediterranean oregano
1 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon thyme
1 cup ditali pasta (salad roni)

Brown beef and sausage in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.  Drain off most of the fat.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, except pasta and simmer for 1 hour.  About 50 minutes into simmer time, cook pasta in 1½ to 2 quarts boiling water on high.  Add pasta to soup.  Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese.  Serve.
You can probably tell, I used large shell pasta this time around.  I use whatever happens to be in the house at the time and it always tastes great.  I also used Chef Tess instead of the seasonings called for.  Mmm.
Note: Skinny Taste has a version of this soup in which she recommends blending the beans with water in the blender.  I considered trying this, but figured there would still be those little bean skins that my husband might take umbrage to, so I chose the powdered option.  Whatever you do with your beans (I like them strait from the can just the way the recipe suggests) you should really try this soup.  Yum.

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