Fall Favourites/ Soups

Pasta Fagioli Soup – Pasta & Beans

August 12, 2019 (Last Updated: August 27, 2019)

The easiest Pasta Fagioli Soup (pasta e fagioli) made with sauteed veggies, borlotti beans, tomato and of course pasta! This Italian soup is hearty, super comforting and so flavourful. Serve it with some crusty bread and a glass of vino.

An overhead shot of pasta fagioli soup in two bowl with crusty bread

Pasta Fagioli Soup or Pasta e Fagioli is the kind of meal you want to curl up on the couch with like Tuscan Farro Soup or Creamy Mushroom Risotto, it’s hearty, filling and packed with incredible flavour.

Best of all it’s incredibly easy and costs next to nothing to make….hello, my favourite kind of recipes!

Pasta e Fagioli literally means pasta and beans in Italian and more often than not consists of a small pasta shape such as ditali, ditalini or tubetti and the beans are almost always borlotti beans (cranberry beans).

If you’re making this as a quick throw together dinner and don’t have borlotti beans you could use cannellini but I’d avoid using any other beans as the soup won’t have the same texture or flavour.

Pasta e Fagioli can range from super thick and chunky to thin and more “soup-like”.

I love the thick and chunky texture but you can easily thin it down by adding more stock you can also add less pasta to stop it thickening as much.

A close up of a spoonful of pasta fagioli soup

Pasta e Fagioli Vs Minestrone Soup

A lot of people ask what makes pasta e fagioli different from minestrone and to be honest they are two completely different soups.

Minestrone is packed full of different veggies which can change with the season, there are no rules or classic recipes for it (every Italian household pretty much has their own recipe).

Pasta fagioli soup is made with a base of carrot, celery, onion, beans and pasta. It’s thick in texture but doesn’t have any chunky vegetables in it like minestrone.

How To Make Pasta Fagioli Soup – Step By Step

Finely chop the carrot, celery, red bell pepper and onion.

Saute the veg in a large pot with a little olive oil for 5-10 minutes until soft then add the chopped garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes (photo 1).

Once all the veggies are soft add the chicken or vegetable stock and tinned plum tomatoes. Bring it to a boil then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes (photos 1-2).

Step by step photos for making pasta fagioli soup

Add the borlotti beans (cranberry beans) and simmer for 1-2 minutes then blitz around half of the soup for a smoother texture (photo 4-5).

Tip: You don’t need to puree the soup but I like to puree half of it for a smoother texture.

Next, add the pasta and the rest of the beans and simmer the soup for another 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente, serve (photo 6).

Serving Suggestions

This pasta fagioli soup is so hearty and substantial that there’s no need to serve anything alongside it other than a big hunk of crusty bread (because you’ve got to mop your bowl clean) and of course a glass of vino.

I don’t think it can get any better or simpler than that.

Variations

I also love to make this soup with pancetta and rosemary the flavour combination is absolutely delicious!

I fry the pancetta first for a couple of minutes and then add the veggies.

Add the rosemary when you add the stock and that’s it, a simple and delicious way to switch things up.

Pasta fagioli soup in a rustic bowl with crusty bread

Tips For Making Pasta Fagioli Soup

  • If you are not eating this soup straight away then don’t add the pasta as it will swell and eventually turn mushy and very soft. Instead add as much pasta as you’re going to eat so if you only want 1 bowl, heat the soup up with just 1 small handful of dried pasta.
  • If you don’t have borlotti beans you can also use cannellini (white) beans.
  • If you prefer a chunkier soup then you don’t need to blend it. I prefer a  thicker texture and like to blitz around half of the soup before adding the pasta. I like to use an immersion blender for this as it’s super easy and convenient.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen in a suitable container (without pasta).

More Easy Soup Recipes You Might Like:

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5 from 9 votes

Pasta Fagioli Soup

The easiest 30-minute pasta fagioli soup made with sauteed veggies, borlotti beans (cranberry beans), tomato and of course pasta! It'so hearty, healthy and sooo flavourful. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 225kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 1/1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow (white) onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 28 oz borlotti beans (cranberry beans) , canned or pre-cooked (800g)
  • 1 cup small pasta shape , ditali, ditalini or tubetti (200g)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable) ( 1 litre)
  • 14 oz (400g) canned plum tomatoes (400g)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Finely chop the carrot, celery, red bell pepper and onion. Saute the veg in a large pot with the olive oil for 5-10 minutes until soft, don't let it brown. Chop the garlic and add it to the veg then saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Once all the veggies are soft add the chicken or vegetable stock and canned plum tomatoes. Bring it to a boil then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the half of the borlotti beans (cranberry beans) and simmer for 1-2 minutes then blitz around half of the soup for a smoother, thicker texture using an immersion (hand-held) blender.
  • Next, add the other half of the borlotti beans, pasta and simmer the soup for another 7-8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente and soup has thickened, serve.

Notes

  • If you are not eating this soup straight away then don't add the pasta as it will swell and eventually turn mushy and very soft. Instead add as much pasta as you're going to eat so if you only want 1 bowl, heat the soup up with just 1 small handful of dried pasta.
  • If you don't have borlotti beans you can also use cannellini (white) beans.
  • If you prefer a chunkier soup then you don't need to blend it. I prefer a  thicker texture and like to blitz around half of the soup before adding the pasta. I like to use an immersion blender for this as it's super easy and convenient.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen in a suitable container (without pasta).

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 404mg | Potassium: 808mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4355IU | Vitamin C: 56.2mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2.7mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Krissy Allori
    August 12, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    This is one of my favorite soups! Thanks for this!5 stars

  • Reply
    Elaine
    August 12, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    It’s been a while since I made myself a big bowl of soup so I think it is time to fix that! 🙂 I’ve got some beens left, so it’s time to use them in the best possible way!5 stars

  • Reply
    Jamie
    August 12, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    This is such a comporting and hearty bowl of soup! I can’t believe it’s ready in only 30 minutes!5 stars

  • Reply
    SHANIKA
    August 12, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    I love the idea of Pasta Soup! It looks so delicious! Such an easy meal for the family!

  • Reply
    Simone cunha
    February 25, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Delicious!

  • Reply
    Alia @ Everyday Easy Eats
    February 14, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Mmmm Emily your pasta fagioli soup looks so hearty and tasty! I love all the pasta and vegetables in it, because it makes it so much more filling than just a regular bowl of soup. Perfect meal for wintertime!! 🙂5 stars

  • Reply
    Alyssa | Flaxseeds & Fairytales
    February 13, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    I love love pasta fagioli. It’s one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. I used to order it at an Italian restaurant near me, but since I discovered I’m allergic to gluten, I haven’t been able to eat it. Now, I can try your delicious looking recipe with gluten-free pasta. I can’t wait! 🙂5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      February 14, 2018 at 11:05 am

      It’s sooo good, isn’t it? That’s such a great idea Alyssa adapt it so it suits your needs you can’t really go wrong!

  • Reply
    Helen of Fuss Free Flavours
    February 13, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    This soup certainly reminds me of moments of “Hygge”, warming and tasty and just what you need on the (still) cold evenings. So easy to make and with few ingredients, perfect for a weekday easy supper. Delicious with some homemade crusty bread.5 stars

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov @veenaazmanov
    February 13, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    That looks like a bowl of comfort food!! I love making simple easy recipes on weeknight. I usually serve pasta separate because my kids won’t eat when the pasta swells over time.5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      February 14, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Yeah, it’s not great when it swells like that it’s much better to just add as much pasta as you need. Thanks Veena.

  • Reply
    Cindy @ The Sweet Nerd
    February 13, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I’m making this tonight – no joke – I was just mulling over dinner ideas for this chilly day and I think this is it. Thank you!5 stars

  • Reply
    Valentina
    February 13, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    This looks so delicious and comforting, indeed! Love the step-by-step photos too.5 stars

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