Honey Bear and I--well, mostly Honey Bear--made this soup for the first time last night, and it was delicious. It reminded us of Julia Child’s soupe au pistou (page 45 in the teal-and-orange edition of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING), but it didn’t take quite as long.
Here’s Rachael Ray’s recipe, and here’s our version. The
only difference between them is the first ingredient--bacon:)
Three Bean Pasta and Fagioli
1/2 pound bacon, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 to 4 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stems fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
Salt and black pepper, preferably freshly ground
1 15-ounce can white beans
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup dry ditalini
1/2 pound fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 1/2-inch
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
Grated Romano or parmesan cheese
Fry the bacon in a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat
for 3 to 4 minutes. (If you like crispier bacon, you could let the bacon fry
longer. But keep in mind, this bacon is going to cook longer, anyway--and it’s going to
be swimming in a soup, so, you know, it’s probably not going to stay
crispy.) Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf, then
salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 8
Stir in the canned beans and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. If you’re using fresh green beans,
add the pasta and let everything simmer for 5 minutes, then add the green
beans and let all that simmer for another 4 to 5 minutes. If you’re using
frozen green beans, add the pasta and green beans at the same time
and let the soup simmer for 9 to 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley.
Taste and correct seasoning, if necessary. Discard the rosemary stems and bay
leaf, then serve in shallow bowls and garnish with the grated cheese.
This really is a lovely fall soup. (Not that it feels like fall in Mesquite yet...) If you decide to try it, let me know what you think!