Passato di Fagioli (Puréed Bean Soup)
This is one of the most straightforward recipes you can make with a pot of boiled beans. We call it passato, meaning “puréed,” as the beans are pureed into a thin, delicate soup, as opposed to thick, chunky bean soups like ribollita.
Passato is versatile, as it can be enriched with all kinds of add-ins: croutons of toasted bread; grains such as rice, spelt, barley, or pasta (our favorite is a short-shaped pasta); or proteins like grilled cod or stir-fried shrimp with garlic and parsley. In any case, a drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper are highly recommended.
When we have leftovers—which happens often, as we tend to cook beans in large batches—my mum usually freezes the passato into plastic bottles, filled up three quarters of the way. When a soup craving strikes, you can simply thaw it and warm it up with a drizzle of good olive oil.
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans, with their cooking liquid
- Extra virgin olive oil
- A few sage leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Puree the boiled beans with 2 to 4 cups of their cooking liquid. Add more or less liquid according to your preferences.
Heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan with sage leaves and garlic. When the sage leaves are crisp and the garlic is golden and has infused the olive oil with its flavor, pour the pureed beans into the saucepan, along with one tablespoon of tomato paste. This will give the passato a pinkish hue.
Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Let simmer gently for a few minutes.
Serve immediately as it is, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. You can also add croutons for some crunch.