Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pasta Fagioli Soup

It has officially been cold here in Ottawa for a few weeks.  And by cold, I mean it got down to into the negative teens in Fahrenheit (or negative 30s in Celsius).  That is cold folks!  I finally had to break out my head to toe down parka.  Thankfully it is a bit more stylish than the parkas that my swim friends and I used to wear to swim meets (think bright blue, lined with yellow fleece or even worse, brown from head to toe).  Even though we had a bit of a reprieve from the cold over the weekend, I was still craving soup.  And the Pasta Fagioli Soup that I made seriously satisfied my craving!  It turned out really well - hearty, with a  deeply flavoured broth (got to love red wine in soup!).  This soup could also fall into the meatless category if you substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Pasta Fagioli Soup
Takes about 45 minutes
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 bay leaves
1-28 oz can low-sodium whole tomatoes (or try to find San Marzano tomatoes)
1/2 of a 14 oz can of low-sodium diced tomatoes
2-14 oz cans low-sodium Cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
Salt and pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups Ditali pasta
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the onions become translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.  Do not brown the garlic.  Pour in the red wine, scrape the browned bits at the bottom of the pot, and let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes.

Crush the whole tomatoes in a food processor, then add them to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, beans, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Simmer for another 10 minutes, then add the chicken broth.  Once you add the broth, bring everything to a boil. (I put a lid on my pot, but you don't have to).  After the broth starts to boil, add the pasta and cook for about 8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.  With about a minute remaining for the pasta to finish cooking, add the spinach.  Finally, add the fresh basil.  Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese and with crusty bread.


  1. Ooh Kels I got a stock pot for Christmas and I am on a major soup kick...this will be my next one! Plus I already have red wine on hand (how could I not, come on.)

    1. Haha, yes it is always good to have red wine on hand... you know, for soup!

  2. Whoa! That's cold! I'll be in Ottawa in July...I hope I won't need a parka then, too!

    Awesome, delicious soup! Buzzed

    1. It will be the complete opposite in July! Hot, hot, hot! We definitely have extreme weather here.

  3. This soup looks hearty and wonderful. I would like a bowl and it's not nearly as cold here in Seattle. :)

    1. I was in Seattle over Christmas! It was definitely a shock to go from there to the weather back here in Ottawa.

  4. I am lucky that the cold weather hasn't quite gotten too cold. I will be making this soup anyway. It looks delicious!

  5. This looks super amazing. It sure is cold right now. I'm down near Windsor. If we make it up to Ottawa next summer as planned to visit my uncle we should have dinner or lunch. Would be so much fun to meet you and talk food to someone who's eyes don't glaze over after 5 minutes. Lol!

    1. That would be lovely Kim! We should definitely get together if you come up to Ottawa.


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