Star Noodle Soup

I am so thankful for go-to recipes that my family loves.  Star Noodle Soup is actually Italian White Bean & Pasta Soup from Williams Sonoma.  We learned it from Chris’s sister, Melissa, a few years ago, and now it’s a regular.  You’ll be happy you tried it!

Italian White Bean & Pasta Soup (Star Noodle Soup)

2 15 oz. cans white beans

3 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped pancetta (bacon or ham are great, too)

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 large garlic cloves, minced

6 cups water or chicken stock, or as needed

1 can diced tomatoes

2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 lb. tiny dried pasta, such as shells or stars

In a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the stock, beans, tomatoes and 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes. To give the soup more body, remove 2 large spoonfuls of beans and vegetables and puree in a blender or food processor, then return the puree to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and reheat gently.

 When the soup is almost ready, add the pasta, stir well and simmer until pasta is tender. To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top each serving with a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil, some grated cheese and a generous grinding of pepper. Serves 6.

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