Justin Chapple's simple soup recipe is a “symphony of pantry ingredients.”

By Bridget Hallinan
May 19, 2020
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The beauty of having a well-stocked pantry is being able to throw together easy meals, and this week’s episode of Mad Genius: Home Edition features a dish that's a “symphony of pantry ingredients.”

Food & Wine's Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple shares his recipe for pasta fazool, a riff on pasta e fagioli that calls for canned cannellini beans, canned crushed tomatoes, garlic, dried oregano, and other staples you probably have lying around. It’s easily adaptable and comes together in under an hour. Read on for his key tips, and get the recipe here.

No need for a fancy onion-cutting technique

The recipe calls for a red onion, but you can also use white or yellow if that’s what you have. Cut off the one end of the onion and then cut it in half, but leave the root end intact. That will hold the onion together while you cut. All of the layers of the onion are going to naturally allow it to fall into pieces, so you don't need any special techniques to cut it. Just try to make sure the pieces are roughly the same size.

Choose your own adventure

In addition to making onion substitutions, there are several other ways you can adapt this recipe based on what you have available. You can use garlic powder instead of garlic cloves; a can of fire-roasted or diced tomatoes instead of crushed; any short pasta to replace the ditalini (or even broken-up spaghetti); and, swap in different beans, too. Justin has also used chickpeas and black beans.

Deglaze your tomato can

After you've added the tomatoes to the pot, take a little water or some of the chicken stock, swirl it around in the tomato can, and add that liquid to the pot as well. This helps you get as much tomato into the soup as possible.

Don't forget the garnish

Fresh basil helps freshen the soup up, but if you don’t have it, don’t sweat it. Just sprinkle on a little shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grab some crusty bread, and dig in.

Get the Recipe: Pasta Fazool