A Virtual Pot of Pasta Fagioli Soup for my Friends

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As I sit in the comfort of my home taking heat and electricity for granted, I can’t stop thinking about all those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, total devastation, many still without heat and power, and to make matters worse, snow is now on the ground.
I have friends who are affected by this storm, if I were closer I’d make them all a big pot of pasta fagioli soup, it’s warm, comforting, a complete meal with crusty bread and it feeds a bunch.
I stock up on cheese rinds in the winter, ( thank you Whole Foods) I always have them on hand in my freezer, so inexpensive but makes a world of difference in flavoring your broth, it makes the best soup ever!
Ditalini, my pasta of choice!
Ingredients for my soup are;
Garlic, leeks, onions, carrots, red potato, zucchini, white beans, swiss chard, crushed tomatoes, broth, pasta and cheese rinds, rosemary and thyme.
I wish I could tell you I measure but I don’t! I start out with a big pan, drizzle the bottom with olive oil then saute the first 6 ingredients ( generous amounts of all, just 2 crushed garlic cloves though) then open up and pour in 2 cans of white beans and a 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Add your chard then fill your pot to the top with broth, homemade or boxed, and throw in 3 cheese rinds and the fresh chopped herbs.
I cook my pasta, and keep it separate, adding as much as I want into my serving bowl. I never add it to the big pot, I don’t like when it blows up really big and gets mushy.
Let it simmer for a good hour or so until veggies are tender then add a generous handful of grated cheese and stir.
I can’t be near to help those in need, but by donating to the Red Cross I feel it’s the least I can do, and so can you, here’s the link!

Linda, Stacey, Pat, Maryann and Barbara, this pot’s for you! xox

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  1. Denise Lamb says

    We certainly could have used a nice big pot of your soup
    last year during Sandy. It would have hit the spot
    and made us all feel comfortable. Can’t wait for
    the first cold night as I will be making this soup for


  2. Rosanna Houlton says

    This soup is amazing! One of my favorites. I LOVE all the pictures you take, they are amazing.

  3. Yvonne Montecalvo says

    The soup looks delish! Silly question here, I’m lactose intolerant…(I know very sad, since so many yummy delights have cheese), Is there a substiturte for the cheese rinds? Please say yes and let me know what it is….Thank you so much! Thank you for sharing your amazing kitchen knowledge with us. Bless you!

    • Yvonne, Of course nothing can replace the true taste of parmesan cheese, I have heard there is a product called Parmela vegan parmesan cheese, it might help create that taste for you, Google it if you can’t find it.

  4. Cheese rinds are great in soup and I’m happy to hear that Whole Foods has them. I usually stick the rinds in a Ziplock in the freezer (cheese from Costco…) Your pasta fagioli looks simply delicious.

  5. I have a dumb question. I’ve never used a “cheese rind”. How do I use it, do I grate it or just toss it in? How much? Which cheeses for this dish? Thanks

    • Connie, Basically it is the rind of Parmigiano Reggiano with some of the actual cheese still attached to it, do you have access to a Whole Foods? They sell just the rinds there, but if not you can ask any cheese monger if they will sell you the rinds, they are very inexpensive but oh so worth having. I throw the whole thing in the pot and it melts down, but don’t worry if you can’t find them just throw some grated parmigiano or romano cheese right inside the soup to taste. Hope this helps! Marie

  6. Marie, everything looks so delicious! I was looking for a recipe for baked rigatoni and came across your website. I am making it tonight. My husband recently requested pasts fagioli so I’ll give this one a try too. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I made this soup and it was wonderful. Only thing different I rinsed the beans and added a few red pepper flakes. I am a Polish cook so I love your recipes, I never measure and it always comes out great. I got your website from a friend and I will be back. Thanks.

  8. Hello, new follower here and I’d like to invite you to join me at my weekly
    Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  9. i was the looking for the same and related info, what you describe on your article. And found you through google search. Its helps me a lots and i understood that you are one of skill article writer/ blogger. I have book marked your blog and hope to visit again to learn more. Thanks for your valuable efforts and time.

  10. Hello, Marie – This soup felt like an old friend come for a visit. I made this sans swiss chard. It is cold and snowy here so opted for fresh spinach! Great for my friends who must stay gluten free. Thank you!

  11. Now that is getting a little bit colder down here in the Carolina’s, I’m all for whipping up a big batch of pasta fazool for the family. It’s our go-to comfort soup! I’ll have to try your recipe!

  12. Marie, this is so nice. I love this soup and I love you.
    Power is back on in Summit, NJ and I will be back to normal blogging and cooking tomorrow. Thanks for being there in spirit. xo Stace

  13. Lovely gesture, Marie, but I’d expect no less from you. I live in FL and understand the devastation of storms, but spent the majority of my life in NY and SI so my heart aches too.

    P.S. I haven’t made pasta fagiole in a long time but I use the rinds in other soups and when I make cannellini beans.

  14. Thanks so much, Mate! There are so many people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy in NY and NJ that would love to have a bowl of delicious hot soup such as this! There is so much work to be done – the hurricane did such extensive damage. Anyone that wants to help can check out the website http://www.NYCService.gov

  15. Lovely, Marie. I also have friends and family (downtown and Long Island) still without electricity. Water came to downtown on Election Day! In addition to Red Cross, there’s the Mayor’s Fund: https://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/donate/donate.shtml
    Every little bit helps!

  16. Marie, you have no idea – entire neighborhoods here on Staten Island are decimmated, and we received 6 inches of snow. I have family in LI I still cannot reach. I have a friend in LI who can only make and receive calls while at work, no heat going on 11 days. Just looking at this beautiful soup of yours warms my heart. xo

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