Absolutely delicious Italian-style creamy pasta and bean soup with Parmesan cheese, white cannellini beans, kale and tomatoes. This hearty vegetarian dish can be made quickly in a pressure cooker or on the stovetop.The creamy, comforting texture of this pasta fagioli can be boosted with a splash of heavy cream stirred in before serving.
1cupuncooked dried soup pastasuch as mini shells, ditalini or elbows
215-ounce cans cannellini beans (including their liquid)
2teaspoonschopped fresh thyme or rosemary
1/2teaspooncrushed red chili pepper
5cupsbrothvegetable or chicken or water
1Parmesan cheese rindoptional
1bunch Tuscan or curly kalestemmed and chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Press the "sauté" button on an electric pressure cooker and preheat on high heat. Once the insert is hot, add the olive oil and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, pasta, beans, thyme, chili, broth, the cheese rind, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir together.
Close and secure the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on high for 7 minutes, with a quick release when it's finished.
Stir in the kale (it will wilt) and heavy cream if using. Taste and season with more salt if you like.
Serve in bowls, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese to taste.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, pasta, beans, thyme, red pepper and broth or water. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes.
Stir the pasta into the pot and cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
Stir in the kale and cream if using. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
Tip: For an easy way to add creamy texture without using dairy, remove and puree about a cup or so of the soup with a hand blender and stir back in, or blend for a few seconds right in the pot.Storing: The pasta fagioli keeps well for days, but it may thicken a bit in the fridge. Add a bit more water or broth when preparing leftovers.