Pasta and Bean Soup
Our version of the Italian classic pasta e fagioli is thin and light, partly because of the fresh beans. If your fava beans aren't young and tender, add them to the soup a little earlier.
- Yield: Serves 6
Source: Martha Stewart Living, February/March 1992
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 leeks, washed well and chopped
- 3 carrots, washed and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Fresh sage
- 1 sprig parsley
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 peppercorns
- 6 cups cold water
- 3 pounds fresh fava beans (about 1 1/2 cups shelled)
- 3 pounds fresh lima beans (about 1 1/2 cups shelled)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 pound thin spaghetti, broken into thirds
- 3 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
In a large pot, combine all stock ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 1 hour. Strain, pressing on vegetables to extract juices. Discard vegetables and set liquid aside.
Blanch fava beans for 30 seconds and pop them out of their skins; set aside. If favas are young and tender, they'll require very little further cooking.
Pour stock into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add limas and bring to a simmer. Cook until beans are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring liquid to a boil and add pasta; cook until al dente. In the last minute of cooking, add tomatoes and favas.
Roll mint and basil leaves tightly and slice thin, to achieve a fine chiffonade; ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a generous pinch.