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Pasta Soups & Salads

For taste, nutrition, and ease of preparation, soups and salads that feature various pasta shapes are hard to beat. Offering year-round versatility, pasta soups offer a hearty and filling lunch or dinner on chilly days, and salads that use pasta in a starring role give a light touch during the warmer months.

Helping to fill your calendar with delightful pasta-based meals is Pasta Soups & Salads (Time-Life Books; September 1, 1996; $18.95/hardcover) by noted chef, author and cooking teacher Joanne Weir. This new release from the Williams-Sonoma Pasta Collection features 50 ways to start a menu in style or provide a filling and delicious one-dish meal.

Using properly shape dried pastas (you don't want the noodles slipping back into the bowl!), soup recipes include Pasta in Broth with Chives which makes a wonderful first course. Italian-Style Clam Soup with Pasta Shells is a quick soup that is perfect with garlic bread, while the hearty Penne and Squash Soup with Sage Croutons makes outstanding use of autumn and winter's quintessential vegetable, butternut squash.

Vegetable-based pasta salads include the simple Farfalle Salad with Caesar Dressing and the combination of broccoli and cauliflower are showcased in Spicy Fusilli with Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad. Like vegetable-based salads, meat and seafood salads work best with dried pastas, but can be prepared with fresh pasta. Fresh crab can substitute for lobster in the luxurious Creamy Shell Salad with Lobster, and ham, turkey or chicken can be used in the rich and colorful Green Peas and Pasta Salad.

Pasta Soups & Salads is the perfect tool for a cook looking to discover the homey pleasure of soup brimming with pasta or the many roles pasta can play in various side and main course salads.

Pasta, White Bean and Tomato Soup

A variation on a signature soup of Tuscany called pasta e fagioli, this recipe includes more tomatoes and pasta. Warming the rosemary garnish in olive oil releases its distinctive fragrance.


  1. Rinse the beans; remove and discard any stones or damaged beans. Place in a bowl, add water to cover and soak for about 3 hours.

  2. Drain the beans and place in a saucepan over high heat with water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the skins begin to split and the beans are tender, 45-60 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  3. In a large pot over medium-low heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté slowly, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable stock or water and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the rosemary and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Reserve, at room temperature, until serving.

  5. To the pot, add the pasta and simmer until it is al dente, 12-15 minutes.

  6. To serve, ladle into individual bowls and drizzle with the rosemary mixture.

Serves 6

Nutritional Analysis:

Calories 331 (Kilojoules 1,390)
Protein 14 g
Carbohydrates 47 g
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 109 mg
Dietary Fiber 6 g

The Williams-Sonoma Pasta Collection


Pasta with Sauces

Pasta Soups & Salads

Ravioli & Lasagne

Recipe from:

Pasta Soups & Salads
General Editor: Chuck Williams
Recipes by Joanne Weir
Photographs by Joyce Oudkerk Pool
from the Williams-Sonoma Pasta Collection
(Time-Life Books:
September 1, 1996;
ISBN: 0-7835-0313-4
Reprinted with permission

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Copyright © 1996—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.