This is what happened when lazy and cheap met and had a baby on my stovetop.

Pasta e Fagioli
(made about 6-8 Jamie servings, your mileage may vary)

Tonight’s almost vegan soup (I ran low on veggie broth so finished up with some leftover chicken broth blocks from the freezer) got major raves for flavor and was cheap, fast, and easy to boot. 45 minutes and it was in my belly.

My guess is you probably have everything – or at least most – on hand already. Hungry? Ready? Good, me too. Grab a pen.

Melt together on medium heat:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter/butter substitute in a large soup pot

Sautee in the above:
1 medium onion, diced fine
5-6 cloves garlic, minced – I used 6
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes – smoked red pepper if you have it on hand

Add:
28 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable/chicken broth
2 – 15 oz cans red kidney beans, the whole thing – liquid and all
2-3  bay leaves
Stir together. Turn heat to high. Bring to a boil.

Lower heat, keep at easy simmer for next 20 minutes, stirring occasionally

Add:
1 cup small pasta, cook until al dente (see package instructions)

Stir in:
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine (if using dried, add in with the other herbs)
pepper to taste (probably enough salt via the canned veggies)

Serve with:
Good, fresh bread (I chopped a leftover half of French Boule into large cubes)
Jeff’s suggestion: That little bit of leftover, finely shredded parmesan cheese? Add some to each bowl. (Was yummy.)

PS – Toss the bay leaves before eating

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