Chef WayPasta e fagioli (Italian for pasta and beans) is a classic. For his version, Andrew Carmellini simmers Tuscan corona beans in pork belly stock, then adds small, fresh goat cheese ravioli, as well as farro that has been simmered for a few hours.
Easy Way A small hunk of prosciutto briefly simmered in chicken stock imparts a wonderful porky flavor. Diced prosciutto goes into the soup with canned cannellini beans; fast-cooking orzo replaces the farro. Instead of adding goat cheese ravioli, simply stir fresh goat cheese into the soup.
More Fast Soups
6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
One 4-ounce slice of prosciutto
1/2 cup orzo
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 rosemary sprig
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Two 19-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound fresh goat cheese, crumbled
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil with the prosciutto. Add the orzo, cover partially and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 6 minutes. Strain the broth into a heatproof bowl. Pick out the prosciutto and dice it. Reserve the orzo separately.
Wipe out the saucepan and heat the olive oil in it. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper and diced prosciutto and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the strained broth, cover partially and simmer until the prosciutto and vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig.
Add half of the beans to the soup. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the saucepan. Add the remaining beans and the reserved orzo and cook until heated through. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Stir in the goat cheese and serve.
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