Last fall at our restaurant, we made a pasta fagioli soup inspired by a recipe in Domenica Marchetti's The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy. This is a beautiful book that we purchased at our favorite cookbook store, The Cook's Library, in L.A. This soup was my first exposure to Christmas lima beans, and I was so enamored of them that I decided to grow them in our garden this summer. These giant limas are hearty and filling, the perfect bean for a soup eaten on a blustery autumn day (in Houston that means it's in the 80's).
Pasta e Fagioli with Christmas Lima Beans
(based on the recipe by Domenica Marchetti)
2 cups Fresh Christmas Limas
(the original recipe uses 2 cups dried limas soaked
1 rib celery, minced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
8 cups vegetable stock
sea salt to taste
1/8 tsp finely chopped dried cayenne pepper
8 oz orzo pasta
ciabatta or similar bread
- In large pot, combine beans, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and stir to combine.
- Add vegetable stock and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer over low until beans are tender. The fresh beans cook much faster than dried, so keep an eye on your soup as it cooks.
- Puree 1/2 the soup and add back to remainder. Season as needed with salt, and add minced cayenne.
- Return soup to boil and add pasta. Reduce to gentle simmer until pasta is cooked. The pasta will thicken the soup considerably.
- To serve, drizzle with olive oil and top with freshly grated parmesan.
- We eat the soup with pesto crostinis. To make the crostinis, brush both sides of slices of ciabatta or similar bread with pesto and toast in a pan or on the grill.
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