Updated: Feb 2
Our kickstart soups offer many advantages. They remove most of the prep work surrounding a 'from scratch' soup, without sacrificing great taste, and healthy eating. They can be prepared straight from the bag, or you can get creative! We have been asked by customers to share tips and tricks to allow for greater versatility and personal preference. Adding ingredients you love to our soups is highly recommended. Don't be afraid to step outside "the bag" and experiment. Customizing allows you to transform these soups into something unique and absolutely homemade. Pasta Fagioli is essentially "Pasta & Beans", a hearty and traditional Italian soup. It lends itself to many variations. It is a filling soup, that combines two ingredients that rarely find themselves in one pot. However the combination of beans and pasta makes for a stand alone meal. Before getting started, remove the pasta from the soup bag and set aside. Pasta is always added at the end to avoid overcooking. You also want to review our instructions on how long to soak the beans. This step requires time, but not alot of work on your part. Fill a pot with enough water to generously cover the beans, and let them sit for 2-3 hours before cooking. A great tip at this stage to speed up the process, is to parboil the beans before setting them aside to soak. If you are really proactive, you could soak them overnight, and have them ready to go the following day (insert super achievers/Type A's here). Soaking helps break down some of the complex sugars in beans, that can make them difficult to digest. It also makes them cook faster.
Knowing this soup is rooted in Italian cuisine, informs some of the ingredient choices you may want to explore. A spicy sausage or ground beef is traditionally added to these soups, but feel free to personalize further if you prefer bacon, a spicy chorizo sausage or ham. We recommend adding a can of diced tomatoes to the pot, or fresh if you have them. Opening a can of tomatoes is the fastest way to add to this soup. If you have the time, add some other vegetables. We suggest diced onion, celery, carrot, green beans and corn. For our video tutorial (click here for link) we chose to use cooked hamburger, onion and canned tomatoes. Another tip that will elevate the taste of most soups is a squeeze of fresh lemon. Seriously. This simple ingredient is your secret weapon! At Pennyweight Market, we carry a variety of flavoured oils, and specialty salts. Experimenting with different varieties of these items is a quick way to add interesting flavors. We recommend the Tuscan herb oil this recipe. It is easy to improvise with our soups, to create the perfect homemade soup that accommodates your favourite ingredients. Taking the hassle out of homemade is our motto. We hope you think so too. Enjoy your soup!