Romano Bean and Vegetable Soup

Romano Bean and Vegetable Soup

Despite the Mediterranean climate in the south of Italy, recipes from the northern regions have often evolved to take the chill out of the alpine winters. It may not get quite as cold there as it does here, but northern Italian cooking can still be warming and comforting on bitter Canadian nights as the cold fronts push through. This thick, hearty bean soup is inspired by northern Italian winter cuisine and, with a little Parmesan quinoa on sautéed and lemon-braised celery root on the side, did just the trick here this week as the temperatures plummeted outside. And with all those beans and vegetables, you know that it's got to be good for you too.

Romano beans, also known as borlotti beans when dried, are close enough to pinto beans that you can use those instead if you don't have the romano beans on hand. Try this soup with a risotto for dinner, or with Italian bread and butter on the side for a delicious lunch.

Romano Bean and Vegetable SoupRomano Bean and Vegetable Soup
Recipe by
Cuisine: Italian
Published on February 10, 2008

Thick, hearty and nourishing Italian-style bean, vegetable and pasta soup — warming and comforting

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 50 minutes

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  • 1 1/2 cups dried romano (borlotti) or pinto beans (4 1/2 cups cooked or 3 14 oz cans)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, shredded (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cavatappi or elbow pasta
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Rinse the beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are plump and tender. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid to be set aside as stock. In a bowl, mash about a third of the beans with a potato masher and set aside as well.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the carrots, celery, green pepper, onion, garlic and herbs, and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans, both whole and mashed, along with the reserved cooking liquid, 2 cups of water and the vegetable stock. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes.

  • Add the pasta and continue to simmer until al dente, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and continue to simmer for another 6 to 8 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted and soft and the pasta is fully cooked. Stir in the salt and fresh ground black pepper, and taste for seasoning.

  • Serve hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Romano Bean and Vegetable Soup


TBC said...

Hi Lisa,
I just sent across my entry for the event. Please check the spam folder.:-)

Kalai said...

Looks awesome and sooo healthy, too!