A very tasty, quick and easy light meal; this Tuscan cannellini bean soup is a family favourite.
This popular recipe, also known as, ‘Pasta con fagioli’, varies from region to region in Italy. Cannellini beans are a national favourite as they have a wonderful delicate taste, creamy texture, and are so versatile to cook with. This particular recipe is a version from Tuscany and it is my father’s favourite.
This is the second soup I prepared using canned beans from the Italian brand Cirio; the Tuscan borlotti bean soup can be found here.
(Disclaimer: Cirio sent me these beans to review, I was not paid and all opinions are my own.)
Canned beans are so much more practical than cooking dried beans from scratch and they are tasty so you are not losing out by going for the quicker option. In fact, they are always cooked perfectly and have a good texture. As there are no preservatives, the liquid is perfect to add to the soup giving it a fuller flavour.
- Start with the garlic and rosemary in cold olive oil, heating slowly over a low heat to infuse the flavours till the garlic is softened, not browned. See Tips for storing herbs to ensure you always have herbs on hand
- Add the drained beans and heat through (do not discard the bean liquid, keep it aside)
- For a creamy texture, mash the beans with a fork
- Pour in the warm water, add salt and bring to a boil before adding any small pasta
- Once pasta is cooked (refer to cooking times), add the bean liquid and remaining beans
- Season according to taste and garnish with a swirl of olive oil and a grating of parmesan cheese
Tuscan cannellini bean soup (pasta con fagioli)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 150g/5oz tins Cirio cannellini beans drain beans and reserve their liquid
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup any small pasta
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for garnish
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
In a medium saucepan, add the oil, garlic and rosemary. Put the heat on low. Once the garlic has softened, add 2/3 of the drained beans and stir for a minute or two to heat them through before mashing them with a fork. Add the water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and boil till pasta is cooked. Stir in the bean water and remaining beans. Serve with a swirl of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.