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Rustic Pasta e Fagioli

If you’ve seen the YouTube video I posted about this recipe, you’ll know that a t-o-n of research went into creating it!

Classic Pasta e Fagioli, a rustic and hearty Italian bean soup, is typically flavored with root vegetables and animal based ingredients like Parmesan rinds or hammocks – which give this soup its famously rich and smokey flavor.

Figuring out how to mimic the subtle smokiness and rich umami quality in a vegan broth was tricky, but I found a solution in the form of smoked paprika, miso paste, and good old fashioned olive oil.

After a bit of tinkering (read: many, MANY batches of soup) I figured out a way to make a delicious vegan version of Pasta e Fagioli that is as close to the classic version as it gets!

Flavorful, filling, and soup-er cozy, this has become one of my favorites and it’s sure to keep you full and happy during the cooler months ahead!

RECIPE PDF – click to download or print this recipe

  • 1 medium onion or 1 cup sliced leeks
  • 5 medium carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp miso paste (I used chickpea miso for this)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 low sodium veggie stock cube
  • 7 cups water
  • 1.5 cup dry white beans
  • 1 cup dry pasta (any small pasta like elbows)
  • 3 cups chopped Dino kale (de-stemmed)

For Serving:

  • vegan parmesan (I use VioLife for this)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red pepper flakes

1. Pour the dry beans into a bowl, cover with water (about 2 inches above the beans) Cover and refrigerate overnight or do this in the morning before work so they’re ready to go for dinner that night. If you’re in a hurry, canned beans will work too. If using canned, skip this step and see the notes below πŸ™‚

2. On medium high heat, sautΓ© the finely chopped carrots, onions, and celery for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sautΓ© for another 5 minutes or so.

3. Add salt, smoked paprika, and miso paste to the pot and cook for 3 -5 minutes. Rinse and drain the soaked beans and then add to the pot along with the bay leaves, diced tomatoes, veggie bouillon cube, and water.

4. Raise the heat to high to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low once it’s boiling and cover with a lid. Let the soup simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours. Checking every 20-30 minutes to stir.

5. In a separate pot, boil the pasta noodles until al dente (2-3 minutes less than what the package recommends) The pasta should be cooked but still have a chewy texture.

6. Remove the bay leaves and then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the pot, stir, and add more salt if needed. Simmer for another 5 minutes and add chopped kale.

7. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the kale is cooked through and viola! It’s ready to serve πŸ™‚

To serve, top each bowl of soul with a generous sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese. I love using the VioLife Parmesan for this recipe.

Finish with a tiny drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (1/2 tsp or so) and a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes take this soup to the next level. Serve with warm, crusty bread for dipping and enjoy!

Like I said in the video, there’s a fast and slow version of this dish and the difference is really just the beans. The slower version, shown above, is just a matter of allowing the soaked beans to cook through in the broth, giving the beans both flavor and a creamy texture. Nigella once said that “difficult” should never be confused with time consuming. This is not a difficult dish – everything just gets thrown into a pot – but it does require a bit of time to cook.

If using this method (recommended) then try this scheduling: Soak the beans before you leave for work in the morning. When you come home, make yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and head into the kitchen to add all of the ingredients to the soup pot. Cover the pot to simmer and then go about your evening, knowing that dinner is gently working away on the stove. Two hours later, your kitchen will smell incredible and dinner will be ready to serve. Again, this is not a difficult recipe, but it does take a bit of time.

If you’re super busy and/or very hungry, then skip the soaked beans and opt for two 15oz of white beans, rinsed and drained.


1. Use 6 cups of water instead of 7

2. Maybe try using slightly less salt – 1 tsp instead of 1.5 – and add as needed since you’re using a bit less water. Adjust how you see fit πŸ™‚

You’ll want to adjust the cooking time from 1.5 hours of simmering, to 20-30 minutes (although you can simmer longer if desired) Then add the pasta and beans. Finish by stirring through the kale and this becomes a 40 minute meal!

Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

Find me on: Instagram


  1. Rose
    November 11, 2019 / 4:46 am

    I followed this recipe and it was AMAZING! so so yummy and it was quite filling πŸ™‚

    • Nicole
      November 11, 2019 / 8:37 am

      That’s my favorite thing to hear! I’m thrilled that you liked it Rose. Thanks for taking the time to comment πŸ™‚

  2. November 11, 2019 / 4:50 pm

    I love your recipes. Thank you
    I would like to make your Rustic E Fagioli I cannot find the miso cheakpea my stores do carry it. Can you substitute with anything else.

  3. November 11, 2019 / 4:56 pm

    I love your recipes. I would like to make Rustic Pasta E Fagioli. I cannot find miso cheakpea. Can you substitute with anything else?

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2019 / 7:00 am

      Hey Mary! Thank you πŸ™‚ You can use regular miso, just use a little bit less if it’s a strong miso like red and a touch more if it’s a mild miso like white!

  4. Shannon
    November 11, 2019 / 5:58 pm

    Hey , I just want to start off by saying you were one of my biggest inspiration to make to switch to planted based just over 4 months ago! <3

    2nd – πŸ™‚ , it would be really helpful if you could put +- how many servings you would get based on amount of ingredients ?

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2019 / 6:59 am

      Great to know! Thanks for the tip πŸ™‚ And it’s so nice to hear that my recipes have helped you make the switch! How’s it been so far?

  5. Amanda
    November 13, 2019 / 10:21 pm

    I am having a hard time finding chick pea miso. Where did you get yours? Do you think I could use white miso instead, and if so, would you recommend using the same amount?


    • Nicole
      November 17, 2019 / 6:54 am

      I get it at the grocery store in the cold section by the tofu πŸ™‚ You might be able to find it at the health food store too!

  6. Amanda
    November 15, 2019 / 2:20 pm

    Where did you get the chickpea miso? I have not been able to find it. Do you think I could use white miso instead? If so, would you recommend using the same amount?

    Thank you!

    • Nicole
      November 17, 2019 / 6:53 am

      Hey Amanda πŸ™‚ I haven’t tried it with white miso, but I think white miso is a bit more mild than chickpea so maybe add a little extra and adjust the salt to taste? I would do 2.5-3 tsp and see if that’s good. The broth won’t taste like miso broth, it’s just supposed to add richness. Hope that helps!

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