The best thing about slow cooker recipes is that I usually have leftovers. When I take the time to prepare a meal in my slow cooker, I always make sure to make a large batch so that I can use it later in the week or pop it into the freezer for a quick meal on a busy night.
One of my favorite uses for leftover tomato sauce (especially when it’s chunky sauce with lots of veggies!) is to use it in some pasta e fagioli soup. So, when we had a few chilly, rainy days last week, I decided to make a nice big batch of soup.
I had some dry Northern beans in my pantry, so I used those in the soup, letting it simmer on the stove during the afternoon. If you prefer to use canned beans, those would work, too, and drastically reduce the amount of cooking time required! I also had some kale in the fridge, so I decided to add that into the soup for some extra nutrients.
It was a great vegetarian meal, and the added bonus was that I turned my leftover tomato sauce into more leftovers that are now in my freezer for later.
Pasta e Fagioli Soup with Kale
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 large ribs celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound dried white beans (Northern beans or cannelini beans), soaked overnight and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 cups water (or additional stock, if you have more on hand)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 3 cups leftover tomato sauce
- 2 cups elbow shaped pasta
- 1 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
In a large pot or a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Saute until the vegetables are tender. Add the beans, vegetable stock, water, and sprigs of thyme. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the beans are tender.
Once the beans are tender, add the tomato sauce and pasta. Bring to a boil and cook until the pasta is tender.
Gradually stir in the kale and cook for a few minutes until the kale is tender. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately topped with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.