Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pasta e fagioli soup with Cavolo nero and a ... purple carrot!

I love pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) soup, especially when there is cavolo nero too, this Italian kale is my favourite brassica and makes any soup taste amazing! But the surprise here was a purple carrot. Carolyn brought me one, thinking that with me being a foodie I would appreciate the novelty. I told her that I grew purple carrots but that only the outers skin was purple, and inside they were orange. She was a bit disappointed, but hey Caroly look here: I peeled the carrot and, surprise surprise, it was purple all the way through! I never seen anything like it! It almost bleed like a red beetroot (and had a light beetroot taste too, but maybe that was just my imagination, it mostly tasted like... carrot)! And it coloured the soup too, it looked like a borsch!

For the soup use one large (purple) carrot, peeled and cubed, a bunch of cavolo nero, washed, white vein removed and chopped, and one onion, chopped. Sauté everything with one tbsp of extra virgin olive oil  then add one litre of vegetable stock and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add one can of cannellini beans and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove some of the beans, add one cup of cold water and blend the soup. Bring back to the simmer, then add a handful of risoni pasta. Simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is cooked. Add back the whole beans and cook for one more minute. Serve hot or at room temperature, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The best soup I made in a long time, thank you for the carrot Carolyn, and for the cavolo nero Sue!

Photos and recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. It's amazing how much colour on carrot can impart! At first glance, I thought that it was borscht!

    1. I was surprised too, maybe that carrot is part beetroot!

  2. Wow look at the gorgeous color! I'd love this soup!

  3. Hi Alessandra, great simple recipe! Purple carrots do bleed and taste a little bit like beetroots (don't they all grow underneath?), and can now be found relatively easily here in Italy. Purple was in fact one of the original colours of carrots, while the currently most common orange colour was born thanks to the Dutch who, in honour to their royal family, managed to create it through transplants and seed selection.

  4. Really Yari? I didn't know, fancy making something orange for that purpose, if it was a Kiwi maybe now we would have black carrots!

    Anyway, they are not that common here (this was the first I saw that was so purple!) and still a bit to expensive to use on a regular basis.

  5. Fantastica, da provare assolutamente con l'aggiunta del cavolo nero!

    PS oggi a Roma si gela!



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