30-Minute Pasta and Kidney Bean Soup (Pasta e Fagioli)

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Managing Editor of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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30-Minute Pasta and Kidney Bean Soup (Pasta e Fagioli)

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 2 quarts, serving 4
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
This recipe appears in: 3 Easy Bean Soups in 30 Minutes or Less
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 ounces pancetta or bacon, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced on a microplane grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 quart homemade or low-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup small pasta such as shells, ditali, or elbows
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Procedures

  1. 1

    Pour the tomatoes into a medium bowl and using hands, squeeze each tomato through your fingers to break it up into small pieces (be careful, they can squirt). Set aside.

  2. 2

    Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until butter is melted. If using pancetta, add to pan and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant and softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, chicken broth, kidney beans, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a bare simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, adding pasta to soup for the last 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the package directions). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves, stir in parsley and serve, drizzling each serving with extra-virgin olive oil at the table.

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