My friend Melanie and I have a tradition of going to Olive Garden whenever we are in the same town. I’m not a huge fan of Olive Garden, but I LOVE their pasta e fagioli soup, which is the only soup I order. Since I pretty much only go when I’m with her I decided to make a version of the soup for the times I was craving it using a modified recipe from Top Secret Recipes. I made this once two years ago with ground beef, but being more health conscious I have replaced it with turkey and pretty much omitted the pasta since it doesn’t really make much of an impact in the soup. It’s pretty simple to make, but is a little time consuming. Recipe yields about 8-10 servings, depending on the serving size.
454g Lean Ground Turkey
56g Garlic, minced
160g Onion, diced
128g Carrot, diced
130g Celery, diced
250g Red Kidney Beans
250g Great Northern Beans
11.5oz V8 Juice
28oz Diced Tomatoes, canned
15oz Tomato Sauce, canned
1t White Vinegar (I used rice vinegar since it’s what I had on hand)
1lb Ditali Pasta
These are the canned goods I used. I was trying to keep it as low sodium and organic as possible, but the Muir Glen (the only tomato products I use) I already had were not low sodium and due to time constraints I just went to Walmart and bought those beans and v8. Next time I will boil my own beans…more time consuming, but I like controlling the amount of sodium that goes in my food.
1. Cut your onion, carrots, and celery to medium dice, and mince your garlic. (I cheat and buy minced garlic since I use so much garlic in my cooking mmmm garlic…)
2. Lightly spray a large pot with cooking spray or use a nonstick pot. I actually spray extra virgin olive oil with a Misto. Brown ground turkey. Drain fat.
3. Saute garlic and onions until lightly brown.
4. Add carrots and celery and continue to saute for about 10min. [I don’t saute mine this long since it will continue to cook when you simmer everything and I like a little crunch to my veggies.]
5. Drain and wash your beans if using canned. Add the remaining ingredients and the beef. Simmer covered to desired thickness. [I like this soup to have the consistency of stew so I simmer mine for about an hour.]
Note: I modified the spices from the original recipe since I am not a big fan of oregano or basil and I reduced the amount of salt due to the salt in the canned products.
You can adjust the spices and vinegar to suit your needs. And, if you would like to add the pasta, 10minutes before your soup is done simmering make the pasta, drain, and add to the soup. If needed, use the pasta water to thin out your soup. If you plan to eat this soup in batches, boil only the amount of pasta you plan to consume because it will soak up the liquid as it sits.
I had nutritional information for this, but I seem to have lost it. I will update this post later with one that uses dried beans and low sodium products instead.