Italian Bean and Pasta Soup

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 10 cups

This combination of creamy bean soup with al dente pasta is simply irresistible.

Italian Bean and Pasta Soup
Lara Ferroni Photography


1 pound dried cranberry or pinto beans (about 3 cups), picked over and rinsed
10 cups water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
2 medium onions, chopped
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pieces Parmigiano Reggiano rind, roughly 2 x 3-inches (optional)
2 cups dried ditalini pasta, cooked and tossed with oil


  1. Bring beans and water to a boil in a large heavy soup pot and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 2 hours. Do not drain.
  2. Heat 1⁄4 cup olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium- high heat. Add onions and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; sauté 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, rosemary and pepper; sauté, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
  3. Add beans with their soaking liquid and cheese rind (if using) and simmer, covered, 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Remove from heat and stir in 1⁄4 cup oil and remaining 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt. Let cool.
  4. Remove and discard cheese rind. Transfer soup to a blender or food processor and purée; return to the pot. (Or use an immersion blender and purée the soup in the pot.) Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and top with spoonfuls of pasta and a drizzle of olive oil.

Recipe from Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup (2013, Storey Publishing)



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