Pasta & Bean Soup

Pasta & Bean Soup

10 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Fall 2004

Using basic canned goods and a few other staples, you can make this comforting soup in just minutes. The trick to achieving a full-bodied homemade flavor from canned chicken broth is to freshen it up with a handful of herbs, some garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. For a meatier flavor, add a little crumbled cooked Italian turkey sausage to the soup.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 4 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 4 4-inch sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • ⅛- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 15- ½-ounce or 19-ounce can cannellini, (white kidney) beans, rinsed, divided
  • 1 14- ½-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup medium pasta shells, or orecchiette
  • 2 cups individually quick-frozen spinach, (6 ounces) (see Ingredient note)
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Combine broth, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot; bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes to intensify flavor. Meanwhile, mash 1 cup beans in a small bowl.
  2. Scoop garlic cloves and rosemary from the broth with a slotted spoon (or pass the soup through a strainer and return to the pot). Add mashed and whole beans to the broth, along with tomatoes; return to a simmer. Stir in pasta, cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Stir in spinach, cover and cook just until the spinach has thawed, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a drizzle of oil, if desired, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.
  4. Variation: Substitute chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for the cannellini beans; use a food processor to puree them.
  5. Ingredient note: Individually quick-frozen (IQF) spinach is sold in convenient plastic bags. If you have a 10-ounce box of spinach on hand, use just over half of it and cook according to package directions before adding to the soup in Step 3.
  • Ingredient Note: Individually quick-frozen (IQF) spinach is sold in convenient plastic bags. If you have a 10-ounce box of spinach on hand, use just over half of it and cook according to package directions before adding to the soup in Step 3.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 92 calories; 1 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 14 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 42 mcg folate; 3 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 798 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 72 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 538 mg sodium; 277 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 1/ 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Reviews 10

May 04, 2017
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By: Ced1106
Tasty. Essentially, a chicken broth soup with beans and pasta. We'll use a low-sodium chicken broth next time, because the regular chicken broth's saltiness kept us from tasting the tomatoes and spinach (the latter not being a bad thing!). The spinach really adds color to the soup. We also substituted pinto beans, and the soup was just fine.
November 01, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Amazing I didn't change a thing in the ingredients however many options do come to mind. Smashing the white beans adds a thickening agent which really makes the soup. This is awesome and a whole batch keeps me in lunches for over a week! What a healthy alternative to eating out!
September 26, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Only complaint is that all the canned broth made it pretty salty. Will look for low-sodium broth the next time. Otherwise, kids and spouse all liked it with fresh bread and a salad for Sunday supper.
January 20, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I make this soup for my husband, who absolutely loves it! Our whole house smells wonderful as the broth cooks with the garlic and rosemary. We like some protein so I took a precooked rotisserie chicken and took the meat off and added it to the soup as the pasta shells were halfway cooked. And, I recently made it for a dinner party by doubling the batch. Also, I use cooked fresh spinach added at the last 5 minutes or so, instead of frozen. Delicious and hearty, I would recommend this soup!
December 02, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
EW is a great resource. I hate to waste, so I was looking for recipes to incorporate Thanksgiving left overs. This soup was excellent! I was able to add the Turkey, carrots, and collard greens to the regular ingredients. The best part is that my family didn't feel we were having the Holiday dinner over again. I am also going to use the Chicken Pot Pie recipe as well. Courtney, Boston MA
October 21, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Love this soup!
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Don't skip this recipe if you happen not to have the exact ingredients on hand. This is OUTSTANDING - my substitutions were not to improve this dish--only to use what I had on hand. I used diced tomatoes with green chilies, and even French green beans because I didn't have the spinach. The soup was still wonderful. Hubby LOVED it, and I will make it again and again. Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious. What more could one want? Thank you, EW, for submitting this recipe. It's a keeper in our household. HippieChick, Chapel Hill, NC
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
A delicious easy to make recipe for winter. I like it with some crusty bread. Emily, Oakland, CA
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
i added a couple serrano chilis to perk it up but this is a great soup! it makes the whole house smell delicious! jason, oakland, CA
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