Soup is one of my favorite things in the world to eat. And while soup takes on many varieties, textures and flavors, there is a universal feeling you get every time that spoon kisses your lips.
So when it comes to making soup, I don’t mess around. Especially when it comes down to a Pasta Fagioli.
Loaded with cannellini beans two-ways, this soup is also filled with pasta, pancetta and stewed tomatoes, making for a very hearty and sublime soup experience.
And because I appreciate you taking the time to read this recipe, I will save you from making some sham copycat Olive Garden recipe. There are SO many different ways of making a Pasta Fagioli soup. Some like it really thin and tomato-y. Some like it really thick and creamy. My Pasta Fagioli soup is somewhere in the middle, but the secret to its success is in the execution.
And there really is no better thing to make soup than your Instant Pot. Its quick and flavor-infusing powers not only blows the stove-top method away, but it also doesn’t turn your kitchen into a furnace. Thanks to this wondrous device, I’ll never make soup any other way again!
Here’s How I Did It!
So we’re going to start by cooking our pasta and I’m using a Ditalini which is basically like a mini Ziti and cut in half if you want to look at like that. It’s very common for a Pasta Fagioli so add that to the pot and then just cover with enough water and a little bit of salt and then just give it a stir.
Secure the lid on the IP and hit manual or pressure cook or whatever button is on your Instant Pot model and we’re just going to go for 4 minutes while our pasta is cooking and follow with a quick release.
While cooking, let’s take one medium yellow onion and dice it up.
When the pasta is done cooking, let’s drain it a little bit and give it a rinse with some cool water and let that sit there for the rest of the time while we finish cooking our soup.
So let’s get our liner pot back inside the IP and let’s add one tablespoon of salted butter and then hit sauté and make sure we’re on the more setting. Once our butter has been melted, let’s add our onion and let’s stir them up for about a couple of minutes most all onions become a little bit translucent and slightly brown in color.
Let’s then add some pancetta and then stir that up as well. After about three minutes of stirring and setting our onions and pancetta…
…we’re going to add some cannellini beans WITH the juices from the can.
We’re also going to add 3 cups of chicken broth, one 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and stir well top it off with 2 bay leaves before the lid is secured and in sealing position and then let’s hit manual and we’re just going to also cook this for another 4 minutes.
Now while our soup is cooking I’m going to take another can of cannellini beans and a can of stewed tomatoes and I’m going to drain them right through a colander like that and then add them on top of our strained pasta at the same time as we’re going to add them all together once the lid comes off.
Once the lid comes off, first let’s fish out our bay leaves and discard them.
Then we’ll add and a half a cup of grated Parmesan cheese and stir it all in there and now it’s time to have some fun!
Using an immersion blender (or you can transfer this all to its blender itself and do it that way but an immersion blender is obviously so much easier), we’re going to purée what we have really well for about a minute.
Lastly, we’re going to add in our pasta, other beans and stewed tomatoes and combine…
…so that everything’s mixed together perfectly!
Let sit for a few minutes as it will thicken a bit (but not too much) and then serve it up!
Just a WONDERFUL soup!
- 1 – 1.5 cups of Ditalini pasta, dried
- Two 15.5 oz cans of cannellini beans, kept separate from one another (one drained, one not)
- One 14.5 oz can of stewed tomatoes, drained and lightly sliced up a bit
- 8 oz can of tomato sauce
- 3 cups of Chicken Broth (3 tsp of Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 3 cups of water)
- 5 oz of pancetta, crumbled (or 6 strips of bacon cut into pieces is fine too if you can’t find pancetta)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp of salted butter
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Add the Ditalini pasta to the Instant Pot and cover with water so all is submerged. Add a little salt and stir
- Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 4 minutes. Quick release when done, put the cooked pasta in a strainer to drain and rinse with cold water and set aside
- Return the inner pot to the Instant Pot, add the butter and hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and stir and set for about 2-3 minutes until translucent and add in the pancetta. Stir and set for another 2-3 minutes
- Add the chicken broth, one can of the beans WITH the juices in the can, the tomato sauce and bay leaves. Stir well
- Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 4 minutes. While the soup is cooking, drain the other can of beans and the can of stewed tomatoes and add to the pasta in the strainer. When the soup’s cooking time is complete, quick release, remove the bay leaves, add in the parmesan and stir well
- Using an immersion blender (or a regular one, but an immersion blender is SO much easier for this so you don’t have to transfer the soup to a blender and then back into the pot), blend everything (EXCEPT FOR the strained pasta, stewed tomatoes and other beans) in the pot together really good for about a minute
- Once blended, add in the strained pasta, stewed tomatoes and other beans. Mix well and let set for a few minutes as it will thicken as it cools down a little and serve with additional parmesan if you desire
If you want even more beans, feel free to add another drained can at the end when you add the pasta (or even try a different variety such as Red Kidney Beans to mix it up!)
Want it vegetarian? Leave out the bacon/pancetta and use vegetable broth. Want it vegan? Do the same and use 1 tbsp of olive oil instead of butter and leave out the Parmesan!
It may not seem like a lot of pasta you’re putting in there at first because it’s so small before cooking but TRUST me, it expands! If you want more pasta, go for it – but realize as the soup cools down, it will absorb a lot of it.