Pasta e Fagioli with “Cheesy” Garlic Croutons

Italy’s Pasta e Fagioli – or pasta and beans soup – makes a complete and hearty meal that is perfect for chilly autumn or winter nights. To make it vegan, swap allergy-friendly vegetable broth for the chicken broth and just omit the prosciutto. Photo: Chris Gonzaga

Makes: 8 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces nitrite-free prosciutto, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups (475 mL) diced yellow onion
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine
  • big pinch salt
  • 4+ cups (950 mL) low-sodium chicken broth (look for allergen-free brands)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) gluten-free pasta shells (I like Tinkyada brown rice pasta for this)
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans,drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper
  • GF Garlic Croutons (recipe follows)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and cook 3 minutes, or until crispy. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Add onion, celery and carrots to the pot and cook 7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper and cook 1 minute. Add white wine and salt, and cook while stirring to deglaze bottom of pan, until almost all the wine has evaporated.
  3. Incorporate chicken broth, diced tomatoes and pasta with a gentle stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Mash half of the beans. Stir the mashed beans and whole beans into the pot and cook 5 minutes more. Add more chicken broth as necessary if the soup is too thick.
  5. Remove from heat, stir in reserved prosciutto, parsley and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.
“Cheesy” Gluten-Free Garlic Croutons

These crunchy croutons can be stored tightly covered at room temperature, but don’t expect them to last as kids devour them like candy.
Makes: 3 cups


  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
  • 5 heaping cups gluten-free* bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 slices, preferably stale)
  • 1 cup dairy-free cheese alternative shreds (such as Daiya or Go Veggie!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine oil, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl, whisking well to combine.
  3. Put bread cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture, tossing gently with a rubber spatula to evenly coat.
  4. Transfer bread cubes to a baking tray, spaced into a single layer. Sprinkle liberally with cheese alternative.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, turning once, until lightly golden and dry The cheese may seem goopy at first, but it will become crunchy.
  6. Transfer the crouton tray to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature. Break apart any croutons that have clumped together.

* For allergy-friendly bread that’s gluten-free and free of the Top 8 allergens, try the Ener-G brand.

is the author of three cookbooks, including the new Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking and The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook. Visit her at