Vegan Pasta e Fagioli

pasta-e-fagioli

Vegan Pasta e Fagioli

Now that the weather has finally started to turn and the East coast has cooled down a bit, it’s finally soup weather, which in my opinion is the best weather. There is nothing like a nice warm bowl of soup on a chilly fall day. So I figured it would be a good time to test out a veganized version of a popular, hearty Italian soup, pasta e fagioli.

To be completely honest I think the only time I ever had pasta e fagioli was at Olive Garden a long time ago. I remember ordering it during the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks lunch time special and loving it. It was like the Italian version of a chili, which I guess makes sense because the translation of pasta e fagioli is literally pasta and beans.

This recipe uses TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) instead of ground sausage, which is what you usually see used in pasta e fagioli. TVP sounds like a weird hard to find ingredient, but I believe it can be found at all larger grocery stores in whatever aisle they stock the Bob’s Red Mill brand. At approximately $5, it’s also a relatively cheap ingredient considering how much comes in the bag. TVP needs to be rehydrated before use & once it has been rehydrated it has a similar texture to cooked ground meat making it a perfect meat substitute. Alternatively, you could leave the TVP out or use “meatless” meat crumbles, which are usually available at most large grocery stores as well in the refrigerated vegan/vegetarian section.

INGREDIENTS
½ c. TVP*
½ Tbsp. olive oil
¾ c. yellow onion, diced (~1 small onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. fennel seed
½ tsp. ground fennel
½ c. carrots, diced
½ c. celery, diced
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
3 c. vegetable broth
1- 14oz can of diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 ½ c. elbow pasta or small pasta of your choice

DIRECTIONS
Rehydrate the TVP according to directions on the package and set aside.

On medium heat, add olive oil to a large saucepan. Add in the onions and sauté until translucent. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in rehydrated TVP, then add the soy sauce, vinegar, paprika, red pepper flakes, and fennel and sauté until everything is combined and liquid has evaporated.

Add the rest of ingredients up until the pasta. Bring to a boil, and then lower to simmer. Simmer covered for about 45 minutes.

Towards the end of the cooking time cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. When the soup is complete add in the pasta and stir to combine.

Top with vegan parmesan or nooch and salt and pepper to taste!

Makes approximately 7 cups of soup.

*Instead of TVP you could use “meatless” meat crumbles. If using that, I would use ¾ c. of crumbles in its place.

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