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Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli

August 2, 2019 | By Jeremy Scheck | 7 Comments

Why are all my close friends betraying me?? Oh wait, I mean becoming vegetarian. It’s fine. It’s really fine, but it does mean I have to get more creative when cooking for them, because I am not interested in compromising quality or freshness for flavor. Based off of the Pasta e Fagioli recipe from Once Upon a Chef by the lovely Jenn Segal, this recipe has a few adaptations to make it vegetarian. In addition to being an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger (, Jenn Segal has been a gracious and patient mentor to me.

Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli
Yield: 4 generous portions

Vegetarian but Good Pasta e Fagioli


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, in small dice
  • 2 celery stalks, in small dice
  • 3 large carrots, in small dice
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 6-8 cups vegetable stock (or chicken if vegetarian doesn't matter to you)
  • ~12 oz (1 small can) canned diced tomatoes, plain or fire roasted
  • ~30 oz (2 small cans) canned cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup French green lentils (or brown), rinsed
  • 1 cup short dried pasta, such as orecchiette or maccheroni
  • Extra quick-cooking vegetables such as kale and frozen peas (optional)
  • Rind of parmigiano reggiano cheese (optional)
  • Parmigiano reggiano cheese and fresh cracked black pepper, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, celery, and carrot. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook around 10 minutes, stirring often, until very soft with some color. Add the garlic and cook a couple more minutes until softened and no longer raw.
  2. Add the wine, turn up the heat, and add 6 cups of stock (one and a half 1 qt. boxes), the can of tomatoes, the beans, and the lentils. If you have the rind of parmigiano reggiano, add it here to impart extra flavor. Simmer about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
  3. Add around a cup of soup to a blender; purée, and set aside. This will help thicken the soup at the end.
  4. Add the dry pasta to the soup and simmer 8-10 minutes to cook. Add back the reserved puréed soup; stir. If using, add the extra vegetables and let warm through. Remove the parmigiano reggiano rind if used, taste for salt, and use remaining stock to adjust thickness of the broth if necessary.
  5. Serve topped with generous gratings of parmigiano reggiano cheese and cracked black pepper.


Gluten-free adaptation: swap pasta for quick cooking rice. I would not recommend gluten-free pasta for this recipe, as it may not hold up in the broth.

Equipment suggestions: large stock pot or dutch-oven pot; a blender, immersion or normal

Makes 4 generous portions; I recommend making the whole batch and freezing what you don't finish.

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  1. I made this a couple weeks ago, froze the leftovers, and had enough for another meal for the family this week. I feel like it tasted even better the second time! I added spinach (and peas as suggested). Delicious!

  2. This soup is actual heaven. My mom made it and my sister (who hates soup) raved about it so I tried making it and I am in love. You never miss.

  3. My family and I really enjoyed this. It is so cozy. I skipped the kale but added everything else that’s vegan. I topped it with the 365 vegan parmesan shreds and they added a lot to the taste. I had trouble cooking the celery fully so I recommend tasting it throughout to make sure it is soft. There are 3 of us and I had just over 1 serving left over. Another great recipe from Jeremy, thank you!

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