Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Venetian Bean Soup

Suvir Saran

Recommended Posts

I have been introduced to this soup by Ed Schoenfeld.

The soup called Venetian Bean Soup at Le Zie, in Chelsea, NYC, is superb.

When I asked the server what beans the chef was using, he said pinto beans. It comes garnished with a fruity olive oil and with pasta inside the soup. I add some grated parmesan into it. It seems like the soup has lots of pureed beans in it and they leave a good amount whole to play against the texture given by the perfectly cooked pasta.

Could this really be an authentic Venetian Style Soup? Is it one of many variations that are popular? Does every restaurant and home chef have their own take on a soup like this?

Any recipes that one could work with to make a soup that is similar to what I mention and also traditional?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This sounds like a version of pasta e fagiole. I've had it soup, and borlotti beans are very similar to pinto beans.

You can cook the beans (I like to do them in the oven, I think it's described somewhere on this thread), take some out and puree or mash them, than add cooked pasta (some recipes add a small amouint of tomato paste to the beans as well). Drizzle with lots of the best oil you can afford.

There's another soup made in Trieste (the recipe is, I think, in Marcella's Classics book) that uses borlotti beans with pork, but no pasta.


olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bean soups are common today throughout Italy, but they are a little more common as you move south. Tuscany is of course famous for all types of bean dishes. Venetian Bean Soup is most probably not actually a Venetian dish but somebody liked the name at some point. Pasta e Fagoli is now served throughout Italy but was not born in the north, but in most likely somewhere in central Italy. I would say that Jim's idea is probably right on the money.

Without more specific information is is hard to determine what this dish actually is - and let's face it Italian restaurants in the USA use names because the sound good, not always because they are authentic.

Edited by Craig Camp (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a recipe for Pasta e fagioli soup in Venetian Taste -- the recipe is attributed to Venetian-born Francesco Antonucci. It sounds very similar to what is served at Le Zie.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Craig has it right. The people in my area, the Piemonte, refer to the Tuscans as "the bean eaters"! The Tuscans, having never come up with a snappy retort, instead take out their hostility on the Bolognese, referring to Bologna as "Bologna the Fat". And so it goes. I, too, believe that Jim is right about the borlotti beans. It has always seemed particularly un-Italian to me to double up on the starches that way, but they do it to such good effect. See also ribolla, the famous Tuscan bread soup.

Bill Klapp


Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are recipes for Venetian pasta e fasioi (venetian dialect) in Venetian Taste, and in La Tavola Italiana. The bean that would be used in Venice is called Lamon, a kind of cranberry bean. I think I've seen these, sold dried, at the Italian store in the Chelsea Market in NY.

There is also a good description of Venetian pasta e fasioi in Waverly Root's The Food of Italy. He writes that this widely known Venetian bean soup is actually more complicated than it sounds, made with fresh or dried white beans, but preferably the dried beans of Lamon, in the Veneto province of Belluno, which is famous for them. The beans are soaked overnight, and then added to the pot with sauteed chopped onions, and cooked in beef consomme, and slowly cooked for about 4 hours. Some of the beans are forced through a sieve toward the end; the pasta is added for the last few minutes. A marrow bone, rosemary, parlsey or garlic might also be added to enhance flavor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And how does your mother prepare her Croatian version??

Soak dried borlotti beans overnight (has to be borlotti beans). Place soaked beans pot of water, bring to boil. Discard water and add beans to fresh pot of water. Bring slowly to simmer. To this add sauteed onion, carrot & celery (including celery tops). Add one smoked ham hock or ribs if you are feeling poor. I think that this is an Austro-Hungarian influence. Add about ten garlic cloves (peeled), one tablespoon of very good grade paprika (A-H's again) and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Plenty of black pepper.

Cook slowly until beans are almost cooked, but not falling apart and meat is tender. Add pasta and cook for a further until pasta is cooked (soft, not al dente). Some of the beans can be pureed and added back to the soup. The ham is removed and either - eaten seperately or chopped up and added to the soup. Soup is served with olive oil pured on top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Similar Content

    • By daniel123456789876543
      I have been making pancetta for the first time. I have experience with the curing process doing things like bacon and cold smoked salmon in the past but this is the first time I have ever hanged anything.
      After a week of curing it has had 11 days  hanging so far (I was planning on taking it to 28 days hanging) Although I foolishly forgot to weigh it. 
      It smells really good like some awesome salami and the outer rim of the pancetta looks lovely and rich and dark.
      It was a recipe by Kuhlman in one of their charcuterie books.
      But when I inspected it today it had the mould growing on it as in the pics below. I have since scrubbed the mould off with white wine vinegar and returned it to the cellar. Is it wise to continue?

    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
    • By psantucc
      My own recipe, though influenced by many sources.
      Santucci's Practical Torrone (Christmas Nougat)
      180g honey (½ cup)
      100g egg whites (2 eggs)
      350g sugar (1 ½ cups)
      50g water (2 tablespoons)
      450g (1 pound) roasted nuts
      5-10 drops orange oil
      2 sheets (8 ½” x 11”) Ostia (aka wafer, edible paper)
      Combine honey, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Skim foam (if any is seen) off the honey when it reaches the boil.
      In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
      Cook the honey mixture to 280° F (137° C). Remove from the heat. With the mixer on high speed, slowly pour the mixture into the egg whites. Continue to whisk until volume has increased by about half and the mixture just starts to lose gloss – only about 5 minutes.
      Reduce the mixer speed and add the orange oil and nuts. When they are thoroughly mixed in, spread the resulting nougat over a sheet of Ostia. Try to cover the sheet as evenly as possible- the nougat is sticky and will make things difficult. When it is evenly covered, top with the other sheet of Ostia.
      Leave to cool and crystallize completely in the open air before cutting, preferably overnight.
      Note: I call this 'practical' Torrone because the recipe is made for home confectioners of reasonable skill to be able to easily understand what and how much to buy and what to do with it. The ingredient portions are biased for my country, the USA, but I saw no point in using English ounces for the weight-based version – those of us who prefer weight generally prefer it in grams.
      Tips and tricks:
      1.Keep nuts in a warm oven ( about 150° F / 65° C ) until you add them. Adding room temperature or colder nuts will reduce working time.
      2.Getting the nougat spread between sheets of Ostia is the trickiest part of the process. I use buttered caramel rulers on the outside edges of the bottom sheet, pour and press nougat in place, and then press the top layer on with an offset spatula. If you don't have caramel rulers, try spreading the nougat with an offset spatula, topping with the other sheet, and rolling with a pin to smooth. I advise against trying to cast the slab in any kind of fixed side pan, as the stickiness will make it very difficult to remove.
      3.Score the top layer of Ostia before cutting through. Once scored, a straight down cut with a Chef's knife works well. Cut into six 8 1/2” long bars and wrap in parchment or waxed paper to store, then cut into smaller rectangles to serve.
      4.There are many possible alternate flavorings. 1-10 Lemon oil or 1 t. (5 ml) vanilla or almond extract work well and are traditional flavors. Candied orange peel and/or orange zest can also be added.
      5.I use half pistachio and half almonds as the nuts. Hazelnuts (filberts) are also traditional. Any common nut should work.
      6.Ostia is available from confectionery suppliers. I get 8-1/2” x 11” sheets from www.sugarcraft.com under the name 'wafer paper'.
      This recipe is copyright 2009 by Patrick J. Santucci. Contact the author on eGullet under the username psantucc.
    • By Paul Bacino
      1 C Northern Beans soaked over-night in
      4-6C Water or Chxn Stock
      1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
      1//2 t Granulated garlic
      1 twig Dried oregano-- dried from last yr
      2 Bay
      pinch of salt ( yes ) and few pepper corns
      in the Morning; All into the Slow Cooker for 5 hrs. ( Crock Pot )
      I removed half the liquor and added chicken stock here back in . to this I added diced cooked Italian sausage about 1 whole .. simmer in a pot.. I transferred to... then add 1/2 head of shopped chicory ( curly endive ) finish cooking 15 mins
      Most measurements again are from feel
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...