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Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)

Conchiglie

Conchiglie is simply another word for shell and you'll find these shell shaped pasta in a variety of sizes from mini to small to medium to jumbo. Their open centres are great for trapping any type of cream sauce or think meat sauce and they are therefore popular in hearty soups and stews.

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)

serves 6

INGREDIENTS

4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium-to-large white onion, finely chopped

2 carrot, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

¾ tsp fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 x 400 g can crushed tomatoes

4 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 cup Leopard’s Leap Classic Unwooded Chardonnay

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ tsp dried chilli

2 cans Cannellini beans, red kidney beans, Borlotti beans, or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup dried Conchiglie small shell pasta

2 cups chopped spinach

¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Optional garnishes: Chopped parsley, black pepper, grated Parmesan, drizzle of olive oil

Method

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add chopped onion, carrot, celery, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, and the onions are turning translucent.

Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook. Add stock, water, wine, bay leaves, oregano, and dried chilli flakes.

Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, reducing the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Transfer 1 ½ cups of the soup (avoiding the bay leaves) to a blender. Add ¾ cup of the drained beans. Securely fasten the lid and blend until completely smooth, being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. Pour the blended mixture into the soup.

Add remaining beans, pasta, spinach and parsley to the simmering soup. Continue cooking, stirring often, for 20 minutes or until pasta and greens are pleasantly tender.

Remove pot from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Garnish bowls and serve with hot crusty bread and a glass of Leopard's Leap Unwooded Chardonnay.

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