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Pasta & Bean Soup

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 35 mins

Pasta & Bean Soup

Using basic canned goods and a few other staples, you can make this comforting soup in just minutes. The trick to achieving a full-bodied homemade flavor from canned chicken broth is to freshen it up with a handful of herbs, some garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. For a meatier flavor, add a little crumbled cooked Italian turkey sausage to the soup.


  • 4 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 15-1/2-ounce or 19-ounce can cannellini, (white kidney) beans, rinsed, divided
  • 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup medium pasta shells, or orecchiette
  • 2 cups individually quick-frozen spinach, (6 ounces) (see Ingredient note)
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Step 1
Combine broth, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot; bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to intensify flavor. Meanwhile, mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl.
Step 2
Scoop garlic cloves and rosemary from the broth with a slotted spoon (or pass the soup through a strainer and return to the pot). Add mashed and whole beans to the broth, along with tomatoes; return to a simmer. Stir in pasta, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Step 3
Stir in spinach, cover and cook just until the spinach has thawed, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of oil, if desired, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Variation: Substitute chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for the cannellini beans; use a food processor to puree them.


Ingredient Note: Individually quick-frozen (IQF) spinach is sold in convenient plastic bags. If you have a 10-ounce box of spinach on hand, use just over half of it and cook according to package directions before adding to the soup in Step 3.

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