Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pasta e Fagioli #recipe @LucyBurdette #lowsodium

LUCY BURDETTE: It's winter, even in Key West, which means that we've gone native and want to curl up and nap like these guys. With maybe some hot soup for supper.

I've just about given up on soup because of my low sodium diet – most soups turn out to rely quite a bit on salt to make the flavor pop. But when I saw a recipe in Bon Appetit for a pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) with a homemade broth that I thought I could tweak, I couldn't resist giving it a try.

I was worried about flavor though, so added two carrots and two sticks of celery to the mix. I also made the mistake of buying escarole instead of endive, but that worked out fine!

Ingredients for the stock

one and a half cups of dry white cannellini beans

2 quarts water
2 sticks celery with leaves
2 peeled carrots
2 bay leaves
1/2 head of garlic
1/2 tsp dried red pepper
handful of chopped parsley

  To cook the beans, you can either soak them covered in water overnight, or use the quick method, bringing them to a simmer for two minutes. Then cover the pot and let it sit for an hour. Next, drain and rinse the beans. Add all the above ingredients to the pot. Bring all this to the simmer and let it cook for an hour and a half.

Ingredients for the soup base

2-3 sticks of celery, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
14.5 ounce can of no-salt added diced tomatoes
3/4 cup white wine


Meanwhile in a second pot, sauté the chopped celery, carrots, onion, and two garlic cloves in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the vegetables are soft, add the tomatoes and simmer until most of the juice has evaporated. And 3/4 cup white wine and simmer again. 

When the big pot has finished simmering, drain the beans, discard the vegetables, and add the beans to the second pot, along with 4 cups of water or low sodium chicken stock. Simmer this all together, then add 6 oz of good pasta, broken into smallish pieces. Simmer until al dente, then add 1/2 head chopped escarole and simmer for several minutes until wilted.


Serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

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  1. Try this soup. Add a bag of hash brown an onion chopped and a box of chicken broth. The lowest salt you can find. Cook until onions are soft. Add an eight ounce block of cream cheese and cook till it dissolves. You can add anything you wish like celery.

  2. Wow, I feel like I got a two-for-one today. Your soup looks fabulous, Lucy. And Sue F's is so easy - how could I *not* try it?

  3. Pelicans and soup. An dynamite combination.
    Wish there were some way to take further advantage of the stock veggies. Perhaps some way to separate them from the beans so the liquid and veggies can be pureed into a rich, thick mix.
    Interesting that there are no herbs or spices.

  4. What would be good in the mix might be fresh basil...