Pasta e Fagioli Soup – Weekend Cooking

Posted 3 December, 2011 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 26 Comments

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Who doesn’t love soup? Especially this time of year. Scott loooooooves soup–says he could eat it every night of the week. While I don’t love it that much, I enjoy it and we’ve been cooking a lot of it lately.

One of Scott’s favorite soups is the Pasta e Fagioli from Olive Garden. He told me he wanted me to make it for him, so I told him to find me a recipe and we’d go from there. Scott found a recipe from and I amended it to the below. Please note that this soup makes an enormous amount. As in we had to run out and get a bigger stock pot because my 8 qt stock pot wasn’t big enough. As in I have two gallon size bags of soup in the freezer!  So, unless you want to freeze some or are feeding an army, maybe half the recipe below.

Paste e Fagioli

1 tablespoon oil
2 lbs ground beef
14 ounces carrots, slivered (I bought bag of julienned carrots)
1 small onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, diced
48 ounces diced canned tomatoes
1 (15.5 oz) can red kidney beans
1 (15.5 oz) can great northern beans
64 ounces beef stock
3 teaspoons oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons parsely
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
48 ounces  (2 jars) spaghetti sauce
8 ounces dry pasta shell macaroni
**(I used 1 lb–8 oz didn’t seem to be enough but it did make the soup thicker)

1. Heat oil in 10 quart stock pot and add ground beef. Saute until meat is browned. Drain any excess fat.

2. Add carrots, onion, celery, and canned tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add drained kidney and great northern beans, beef stock, oregano, parsley, pepper, Tabasco sauce, spaghetti sauce, and uncooked noodles.

4. Simmer about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

I haven’t worked out how many servings this is–9 quarts makes a crapload. But since I haven’t experiemented with halving the recipe, I didn’t want to use halved numbers. If you try this recipe, please let me know how it turns out for you!!

Lessons learned for freezing items with pasta: The pasta gets mushy when reheated (at least in my limited experience). Next time I make this, I’ll add pasta to only the portion we plan to eat immediately. So probably will let soup simmer without the pasta and then add cooked pasta right before eating. An extra step but will make the soup go further, I think.

Do you have any favorite kind of soup? I’m still on the hunt for a yummy split pea soup!

Every weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.”  Hope you’ll join the fun!

26 Responses to “Pasta e Fagioli Soup – Weekend Cooking”

  1. I have found problems with freezing pasta too — it tends to absorb too much of the liquid. On the other hand, it’s really not that hard to boil up the pasta you want while the soup heats up.

    I love the idea of having a ton of this in the freezer. And I have a couple gigantic soup pots from when I used to make stock on a regular basis.

  2. My husband and I frequently make a meal of a hearty soup and homemade bread…this recipe looks great, though since there are only two of us, I’d definitely have to size it down :)

  3. Mmmm…this looks good. And since it is freaking cold here, I might be making this soon. Will definitely halve this as it would feed an army, and I bet I’ll still have leftovers. That is brave of you making it all at once. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Is that the actual soup you made? It looks a LOT like the Olive Garden kind. That’s the soup I alwas order there, and I’ve never found a good recipe for it. I’ll have to try this one.

  5. I make split pea potato soup. Veggie broth, split peas, a couple of chopped up potatoes, salt and pepper, cook it til the peas are mushy, and then stick the immersion blender in. If I’m feeling fancy, after it’s all blended up (because I like the potato blended in, but not the carrots and onion), I’ll add sauteed onions and carrots. And ham sometimes.

  6. I love soup in the winter. I often make a big pot on Monday nights, and then it is great for lunches throughout the week. I don’t have a good split pea though, hpmf.

    However – totally random – put that chicken enchilada pasta you have on pinterest…have you made it?! We tried it last week and it was SO good!

  7. My husband loves Pasta e Fagioli, this looks like a good recipe to try. Thanks for the tip about the pasta, I’m going to try that next time I make Meatball & Macaroni soup.

  8. Yum! This looks delicious! We have been eating soup occasionally this fall, and I have enjoyed trying a few new recipes. Have you seen the Olive Garden knock-off recipe for the Zuppa Toscana soup on Pioneer Woman’s blog? I bet that is delicious! My mom used to make really good split pea soup, but I don’t have her recipe anywhere. Pretty sure the hubs wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole, considering the green, mushy appearance, but it tastes so good!

  9. I have made this soup and also the knockoffs for the Zuppa Toscana and the Chicken Gnocchi soup. They I think the Fagioli is my favorite although ti does make a ton. I have split the recipe in half before and it does turn out good!

  10. i love soups too. I have a good yellow split pea soup – Newfoundland style Pea Soup with dough boys. I’ll share it next Weekend Cooking!

  11. You can cook some pasta and store it separately. Then combine when you heat the soup. My favorite soup is lentil. And since yours is close to that I will give it try. Thanks Trish :)

  12. I love cooking–and eating!–homemade soup. I probably make a new pot of something every week fall through winter. I love Pasta e Fagioli but have never made it myself! Yum. Looks great!

  13. I thought I left a comment already, but my mobile device was acting weird, so I’m reposting. Apologies if it doubleposts.

    I actually made split pea soup last night, and it was delicious. I’ve tried several, but I used the Joy of Cooking (updated version) one last night and am very pleased. If you don’t have a copy of JoC, I will be glad to email you the recipe. Just let me know.

  14. Les

    This is very similar to the recipe I use, Trish. And I discovered the same problem with making a huge batch and winding up with mushy pasta! I got my recipe from Food Network’s Calling All Cooks and it includes Italian Sausage. Yum! Time to make this again now that it’s getting cold & snowy here in NE.

  15. Yum! I could eat soup every day too. I love it. I tend to not add pasta to soup unless I’m eating it right then. Otherwise I add it when I’m reheating it.