The day after I get home from an international trip I always take the day off. I’ve found the best way to recover from jet lag is to not jump right back to work but instead take a full day off to rest, do my laundry from the trip, and eat healthy food. I found out on my journey home from Italy that it would be raining for a week back home in Northern California so I made up my mind to recreate an Italian soup to help with my recovery.
‘Pasta e Fagioli’ means “pasta and beans” and it’s an Italian soup made of meat, beans, vegetables, and pasta. ‘Pasta e Fagioli’ is the Venetian dialect but in the US, it’s also referred to as ‘Pasta Fazool’ from the southern Italian dialect. Sometimes made with pancetta, I made mine with ground beef like the one I had in Venice.
It’s tasty, hearty, and a perfect winter soup that’s ready to eat in one hour. I made this last night for dinner for my family, delicious!
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion (finely diced)
3 garlic cloves (finely diced)
1 lb. ground beef
1 32 oz. low sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
10-12 diced baby carrots
1 cup small pasta shells
4-5 chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 tbsp dried basil)
1 tbsp oregano
¾ tsp garlic powder
ground parmesan cheese (garnish)
To prepare: Dice the onion and garlic and soften for 2 minutes in a large soup pot on low heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the ground beef to the pot and stir until it’s cooked. Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced carrots, kidney beans, and pasta shells and bring mixture to a boil.
Boil on medium heat for 10 minutes until the pasta shells are cooked. Add the basil, oregano, and garlic powder and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with garlic bread and a nice Italian or red wine!
Makes 4 servings.