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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from heat, stir in reserved prosciutto, parsley and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- 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!)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Combine oil, garlic, salt and oregano in a small bowl, whisking well to combine.
- Put bread cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture, tossing gently with a rubber spatula to evenly coat.
- Transfer bread cubes to a baking tray, spaced into a single layer. Sprinkle liberally with cheese alternative.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, turning once, until lightly golden and dry The cheese may seem goopy at first, but it will become crunchy.
- 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.
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