Red Soup – White Bean & Pasta Soup

This minestrone-like veggie, bean and pasta soup gets its red color from tomato paste.   Jackson coined the name for this soup at age 3, which is admittedly easier than veggie-white bean-pasta soup…so it stuck.

1-Red Soup

Red Soup - White Bean and Pasta Soup

Garlic after smashed   Easy soup that starts like most by sautéing carrots, celery and onion.  Note: A Quick short cut = 1 container of mirepoix from Trader Joe's (diced carrot, onion and celery)...gosh we miss Trader Joes here in Hong Kong.  Adding the garlic in two different steps help enhance the garlic flavor.  Keeping the garlic cloves whole yet smashed allows for the cloves to gently release flavor without any small bits burning plus allows for easy identification and removal if needed, for those who do not like eating garlic.   This tactic I owe to Lidia Bastianich.  She often whacked the cloves and left them whole to allow the garlic flavor to release and flavor the dish and then would fish out cloves later.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 6


  • 6 garlic cloves, used in 2 steps
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 oz small pasta, macaroni, pennette or similar
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley or Basil, roughly chopped


  • In large soup pot, turn on medium low flame and add oil.  One at a time, place garlic clove on cutting board, place heavy knife on clove sharp side pointing away (see picture) and pound the side of the knife with your fist.  The paper of the garlic will jump off and then you will have a smashed yet whole clove of garlic.  When pot is heated, add onions, celery and carrot - do not let brown, gently sauté for 4-6 minutes until soft.   Add 4 of the smashed garlic cloves along with bay leaves, gently sauté 30-60 seconds just until fragrant.  Add the tomato paste, sauté for 1 minute (mixture will clump together).  Add broth, remaining 2 cloves garlic, drained beans, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to low flame, cover with lid and simmer for 20 minutes.  In separate pot, boil water for pasta.  Before adding pasta, add approximately 1 teaspoon salt to water.  Cook pasta as directed on package and drain.  Add pasta to soup, serve with grated Parmesan and fresh Italian parsley or basil for garnish.  


Note: if the whole pot of soup will not be eaten at once, do not add the pasta to the soup as it will continue to suck up the broth and get mushy.  Instead, keep the pasta separate and then add as needed to individual serving
Keyword Gluten Free