You’ll love, love, love this rich, hearty, fiber-packed soup! It tastes very similar to the Pasta e Fagioli at Olive Garden. It’s one of the lowest-fat items on the Olive Garden menu, with 2.5 of fat per serving. My recipe actually contains more calories than theirs does because I’ve added more beans and veggies. Each 1 cup serving has 156 calories, 2 grams fat, 6 grams of fiber and 5 Blue WW Freestyle SmartPoints, and 5 Green. So flavorful, this recipe makes a TON of soup to stock your freezer with. It’s great as a first course or makes the serving size 1½ to 2 cups and it becomes a very filling main-course soup. You’ll want to add this satisfying dish to your soup repertoire. It’s a keeper for sure!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey, see shopping tips
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28oz) can tomatoes, diced
1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 (10oz) cans reduced-sodium beef broth
1 (24 oz) jar marinara or pasta sauce, I used Prego’s Heart Smart pasta sauce
½ cup water
1 zucchini, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
6 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
1. Brown beef in a large nonstick soup pot. Drain in a colander in sink.
2. In the same pot, heat olive oil. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir often.
3. Add drained beef back to pot. Stir in canned tomatoes, beans, beef broth, pasta sauce, zucchini, water, Italian seasonings, and pepper.
4. Bring soup up to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 50 minutes.
5. Add pasta to soup. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes longer until pasta is ready. If you like a thinner soup, just add another ½ cup water or so.
6. Ladle soup into a small bowl or cup. Top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
7. This soup freezes great!
Makes 20 cups (each serving, 1 cup)
Beans are loaded with protein and fiber. They actually contain a wider variety of healthy nutrients than most foods. These include calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid.
Just by browning the beef and draining the fat before adding it to the soup, you’ll cut way down on the fat. It’s a simple prep tip that makes browning any type of meat healthier.
Look for the leanest ground beef in your supermarket. I bought mine at Trader Joe’s.
Freeze leftover soup in pint-size containers. Stores like Smart and Final sell deli-style plastic containers that are perfect to freeze in. They’re very reasonably priced.
WW Freestyle SmartPoints 5-Blue
WW SmartPoints 5-Green
WW POINTS PLUS 4
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup (not including cheese)
156 calories, 2g fat, 1g sat. fat, 12mg chol, 12g protein, 25g carbs, 6g fiber, 438mg sodium, 6g sugar
|FACTS: for 1 serving Olive Gardens Pasta E. Fagioli
130 calories, 2.5g fat, 17g carbs, 6g fiber, 680g sodium, 6g sugar