Italian Bean and Rice Soup Recipe

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8 votes | 3201 views

This is a delicious soup culled from the treasure trove of recipes by Marcella Hazan. It can be made with pasta instead of rice, but is wonderful with Arborio rice. It's hearty and flavorful. Marcella would probably cringe, but I like to eat it with a healthy sprinkle of sumac. If you don't have sumac, black pepper will add flavor too. Our kids like this soup a lot too.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $1.18 view details
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped carrot
  • 3 Tbsp chopped celery
  • 3 or 4 pork ribs or 2 small pork chops
  • 1 cup canned, imported Italian plum tomatoes chopped with juice
  • 3 cups canned cranberry (best!) or red kidney beans, drained, or 2 pounds fresh cranberry beans (unshelled)
  • 4 cups beef broth and 2 cups water (add more broth and water in 3 to 1 ratio if needed), or 4 cups home made beef stock (can also substitute vegetable broth if desired)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice (can substitute short grain rice, but it won't be as good)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Put the olive oil and chopped onion in a soup pot and turn to medium. Stir the onion until it becomes pale gold (3-4 min) then add the carrot and celery, stirring to coat, and the pork. Cook for 10 minutes, turning from time to time with a spoon or spatula.
  2. Add the cut up tomatoes and their juice and adjust the heat to low for a gentle simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the canned beans, stirring to coat, and cook for 5 minutes then add the broth and water. (Cook 45 mnutes in broth and water if using fresh beans...or until tender). Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Remove about half a cup of beans and smash them in a bowl with a spoon and put them back in the pot. Add kosher salt and black pepper to taste and stir.
  4. When soup is boiling, add the uncooked rice, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. Before turning off the heat, swirl in the butter and grated parmesan cheese.
  5. Pour the soup into a large serving bowl or individual bowls and allow to settle for 10 minutes before serving. It's best warm, not steaming hot.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 280g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 273  
Calories from Fat 113 41%
Total Fat 12.78g 16%
Saturated Fat 3.25g 13%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 574mg 24%
Potassium 245mg 7%
Total Carbs 32.22g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3.1g 10%
Sugars 2.65g 2%
Protein 7.49g 12%
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  • Nancy Miyasaki
    I loved this and so did our kids. Thanks to our good friend who recommended this to us!
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Pattie Meegan
      John, this looks delicious! I always have some soup around and look forward to trying this one
      xoxo Pattie
      • Stacey Maupin Torres
        Wow, this is a great soup recipe! The addition of the pork chops/ribs is nice (compared to the usual smoked pork used in bean soups). Sounds delicious!
        • Janie Knetzer
          Hi John:
          I just love soup and looks really good. I just made an Italian soup yesterday and my hubby loved it. I'll be trying this one, I'm sure.


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