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Bean and Pasta Soup

To make a vegetarian version of this soup, replace the bacon with two tablespoons of olive oil and the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Add more seasoning to taste.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
Bean and Pasta Soup

Source: Everyday Food, November 2003


  • 1 strip (1 ounce) bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) beans, such as navy or cannellini, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium canned chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup tubetti, ditalini, or other short, tubular pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a Dutch oven or stockpot, cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add onion and carrots; cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Stir in tomato paste, beans, broth, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until soup has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

  4. With a potato masher, mash some of the beans (still in pot) to thicken soup. Add pasta; cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.

  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with parsley.

Cook's Note

Use a vegetable peeler to shave a few Parmesan curls over each serving.

Reviews (14)

  • foodiemp123 11 Feb, 2015

    No, no, no and NO! If you're looking for a WATERY soup that is completely BLAND, choose this one!! There's a mistake in the recipe: please notice that during the instructions they have you throw in 4 cups of water (which is NOT listed in the ingredient list) and this completely dilutes the soup. I hate recipes that add additional ingredients that they don't tell you about. Just plain confusing! I would not even want to try this again without the extra water. YUCK!

  • MirToniR 22 Sep, 2014

    Great soup on a chilly fall day! Made this recipe with only slight changes - 6 cups of chicken stock instead of 4 cups and 2 cups of water instead of 4 cups. Also added 1 Tablespoon more of tomato paste and ½ teaspoon more of rosemary. In step 3 added 10 more minutes to have soup thicken. In step 4 used a hand emulsifier to mash some of the beans then simmered for an additional 10 minutes before adding pasta. Tasty and flavorful!

  • jennylove 22 Jan, 2013

    Not a show-stopper, but a nice & tasty soup nonetheless. I use the 4c. chicken broth + 4c. water, fresh rosemary, add a parm cheese rind, and think the flavor is really very good. I like the idea of adding celery, and replacing the chicken with beef stock, so will try that next time. Today was do or die time - add the recipe to my collection or toss it - I decided that I do indeed enjoy this simple-but-tasty soup, and want to make it again!

  • dscandebc 19 Jul, 2012

    I make this recipe exactly how it reads and I have found that it tastes wonderful all the time. It is so fragrant while cooking and makes me wish for the fall. This is my favorite soup of all time and I can see how it would work well as a base to make many other delicious soups out of.

  • Linaber 14 Jan, 2011

    I started making this recipe when I read about it in the actual magazine. I made it today and was emailing it to a friend when I noticed the missing ingredient.

    The liquid is 4 cups of chicken stock and 4 cups of water. it turns out perfect every time!

    I don't mince the garlic put it in whole and remove it before serving. I also only use I can of beans and more pasta than indicated.

  • smd1227 12 Jan, 2010

    After reading everyone's comments, I modified this recipe to substitute 3 cups of beef stock for the water with one cup of white wine. I used fresh rosemary, added 2 Tbs tomato paste and threw in a parmesan rind. Delicious.

  • mamalubear 19 Nov, 2008

    I made this almost completely with stock. I also added some extra veggies like celery and orange peppers. I used a little more tomato paste as well. I didn't have bacon so used canandian bacon. I will try bacon next time. It was good, but it was better after being stored overnight. It is as if the flavors finally came together. This is one of those recipes that you can play with as long as you don't water it down.

  • JerseyCook 5 Nov, 2008

    I agree with prior comments that something is amiss with this recipe. Cut the water in half, use an extra cup of stock and up the ante on the garlic. Maybe you needed more liquid if using dried beans, but then it doesn't seem it would be enough. I make something similar and I actually use a 1/2 cup white wine too. I guess we all just have to experiment with it.

  • evathreeinfour 17 Jan, 2008

    I think there is a typo in the instructions. I'm guessing you're supposed to add 4 cups chicken stock (see list of ingredients), not water, in step 3.

  • carriebou 16 Jan, 2008

    i just made this soup and yuck! it tastes like water. i think i will try to add more chicken stock because unfortunately my family has to eat this tonight.

  • msimkin 3 Jan, 2008

    a nice, easy soup for a week night meal, made with ingredients you probably already have on hand. it is a bit bland as written tho. i doubled the garlic, reduced the water to 3 c. and added more chicken stock, plus added a pinch of cayenne at the end. much improved!!

  • seeking_simplicity 2 Dec, 2007

    When the weather gets chilly, I long for a warm, flavor-filled soup and this one is so easy and so flavorful. Give it a try... you will not be disappointed.

  • DVnJD 29 Nov, 2007

    Add some left over chicken and you have my Italian Grandmother's Winter Sunday Soup! Brings back GREAT memories.

  • shooterboy 23 Nov, 2007

    I tried this recipe last weekend... it turned out great! Instead of using a potato mashed, I put about two cups of the soup in a bowl and used an imersion blender to blend it, then put it back into the pot. A very tasty recipe.

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