Slow Cooker Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup
Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup is so delicious and you can use any large slow cooker to make this delicious tummy-warming soup!
Pasta e Fagioli means simply “pasta and beans” and there are many variations of this traditional Italian soup. If you have an Italian grandmother, this is the soup she probably made for you, or perhaps you’ve had a version of it at an Italian restaurant.
Either way, this soup is Italian comfort food at its best. In Utah we’re right smack in the middle of those spring weather fluctuations where the temperature can drop 20 degrees overnight, and this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup tasted great when I tried it out with my brother Rand on one of those chilly days.
I made this soup in the Ninja Cooker that my wonderful blogging and real-life friend Lydia sent me as a housewarming present. Lydia got a Ninja Cooker a few months ago and she was so sure I would love it too that before I even closed on the new house she promised to send me one for a housewarming present. (Thanks Lydia!) However, I’m not trying to convince you that everyone needs a Ninja Cooker, any Five Quart Slow Cooker (affiliate link) will work for this recipe, and I’ll give instructions that make it clear how to make the dish either way.
How to Make Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Heat the olive oil and saute the onion (either in a pan on the stove or in the Ninja Slow Cooker until it’s starting to soften, about 4 minutes.
- Add the chopped celery and carrots to the onion and cook 3-4 minutes more. Then add the minced garlic, Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), fennel and red pepper flakes and saute about 1 minutes more. (Transfer to slow cooker if you’re sauteeing in a pan.)
- Rinse the canned red beans until no more foam appears.
- Add the beans, vegetable stock, and tomato sauce to the slow cooker and season the soup with a little salt and fresh ground black pepper and start to cook.
- If you really want to get the full Italian grandmother flavor, add a couple of Parmesan rinds to the soup when you start cooking it. (This is optional, you can add more Parmesan to the finished soup if you don’t have a rind.)
- After the soup has cooked 3-4 hours on high (or 6-7 hours on low), add the whole wheat orzo and cook about 40 minutes more.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar to finish the soup and serve hot, with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan to add at the table.
More Tasty Slow Cooker Soups:
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend (Use any brand of Italian seasoning that you have.)
- 2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (Or substitute any type of all-purpose seasoning blend that you like.)
- 1/2 tsp. ground fennel (probably optional, but it adds a lot of flavor.)
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- two 15 oz. cans red beans, rinsed and drained
- three 14 oz. cans vegetable broth (or use homemade vegetable stock, which would be fantastic in this)
- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- several pieces Parmesan rind (optional, but does add wonderful flavor to the soup)
- 1/2 cup 100% Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta (see notes)
- 2 T good quality balsamic vinegar
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- chopped fresh parsley for serving
- Heat olive oil (either in the Ninja Cooker or in a pan on the stove) and saute the onions until they start to soften, about 4 minutes.
- Add the celery and carrots and cook 3-4 minutes more, then add the minced garlic, Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), ground fennel, and red pepper flakes and cook about a minute more. (Transfer to the slow cooker if you’re using a pan on the stove.)
- While the vegetables are cooking, put the beans in a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears.
- When vegetables are done, add the drained beans, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, salt, and fresh ground black pepper to the slow cooker (along with the Parmesan rinds if you have some) and cook on high for 3-4 hours (or on low for 6-8 hours.)
- Add the orzo (or other small pasta shape) and cook about 40 minutes more.
- Remove Parmesan rinds and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- Serve soup hot, with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped fresh parsley to add at the table.
- This freezes well, and I’m glad I have some in the freezer for the next chilly spring day!
I'd use at least a Five Quart Slow Cooker (affiliate link) for this recipe, and a larger size would also work.
You could substitute any type of small whole wheat pasta, or use brown rice for gluten-free variation.
This recipe was adapted from 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker, although I spiced it up quite a bit.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1019mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 10gSugar: 4gProtein: 14g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Vegetarian Pasta e Fagioli Soup would be Phase 2 or 3 for the original South Beach Diet, due to the carrots and whole wheat orzo. If you substitute another pasta shape, it needs to be whole wheat pasta for South Beach. You could make this soup lower in carbs by using less carrots, beans, and pasta, but this can never be a low-carb soup.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.