Healthy Veggie & Bean Soup- Pasta e Fagioli

An hearty and healthy soup packed with pasta, beans, vegetables and on the table in less than an hour.

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Today, I offer you my healthy version of Pasta e Fagioli.

What makes this soup/stew healthier?

I offer you a couple of swaps-

Swap #1 -use ground turkey as your protein instead of ground beef. But…if you have carnivores that want beef, drain the beef and wipe down your pot to reduce that fat.

Swap #2– use farro or bulgur instead of ditalini.

Happy New Year- start it off by eating healthy today.

I use tons of fresh vegetables- carrots, onions, celery, fresh spinach- kale would be fantastic as well. Fresh herbs and lemon are added to give this soup a burst of flavor- the rosemary just perks up everything. And, of course, beans. Beans are full of fiber and protein. I chose dark red kidney beans, but white beans are fantastic as well. Dark red kidney beans offer 8.7 grams of protein per serving and 6.4 grams of fiber. One bowl of this satisfying soup will fill you up, but not pack on the pounds.

Garlic, rosemary, fennel, red pepper flakes, dried oregano and bay leaf add tons of flavor

It is always a good time for us all to take stock of our health and try to eat better. I try to offer you simple, but super healthy options when I can. Even my Friday Cocktail Hour has a few low calorie or low carb cocktails. Try a new take on this comforting bowl of goodness. The leftovers make a great lunch or share with a neighbor. Enjoy!

Healthy Pasta e Fagioli

  • 1 lb ground sirloin or ground turkey
    1 TBSP olive oil

  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped into coins

  • 4 stalks celery with leaves, chopped

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 1- 16 oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

  • 3 cups fresh spinach or kale, washed, stemmed removed

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 TBSP fennel seeds, crushed

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp Kosher salt

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine

  • juice of one lemon

  • 1 box- 26.46 oz chopped tomatoes

  • 1- 14.5 oz can unsalted beef broth

  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, bulgur or farro, cooked

Method- Prep time- 30 minutes. Cooking time- 1 hour. Serves 6-8

  • In a large Dutch Oven, on medium heat, brown beef or turkey until almost done- about 5-7 minutes. The meat will compete cooking while it simmers in the soup. Remove, drain the fat from the meat and wipe down the pot with a paper towel to remove excess fat.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat, add in carrots, celery and onions and sauté 6-8 minutes until fragrant. Add in minced garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, fennel, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute.
  • Next, add in tomatoes. Cook until warmed through. Add in beef broth. You can swap in chicken broth if desired. Add back in cooked beef or turkey and beans. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Cover and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent sticking.
  • In another pot, while the soup is simmering, boil 6 cups of water. Add pasta or grains. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • To complete the soup: Remove cover, add in juice of lemon and spinach or kale. Simmer another 5 minutes. Check for seasonings. Add more salt or pepper if desired. Remove bay leaf.
    In large bowls, add in one serving of the cooked pasta or grains, then top with soup.
    If you are feeling decadent, you can top with grated parmesan.
    When storing leftovers, keep the grains or pasta separate from the soup so it s does not soak up all the broth and become gummy.
I add chopped tomatoes- from a box and not a can.

DOES THIS RECIPE FREEZE WELL?

This soup freezes well as long as you do not add in the beans or the pasta (which will turn to a mushy mess). Thaw the soup. overnight in the fridge and bring to a low simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the beans and pasta or grains.

Add the beef back in.

TO FREEZE: Pour the cooled soup into a Freezer Proof zip top bag, Remove the air using a straw, seal completely and then place inside another freeze Zip top bag.

Cook your starch separately so it does not soak up all the broth.
First add your starch to the bowl.
Top with soup. So yummy!

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