Zuppa di Broccoli e Fagioli

Broccoli Soup with White Beans

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6 to 8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

A classic soup from Apulia in the south of Italy. You can treat it as a broth, with chopped cooked broccoli, white beans, and pasta, or you can puree the broccoli and combine it with the pasta and beans. In any case, you’re going to love it.


  • ½ cup dried small white beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 2 bunches broccoli, tough stems discarded, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or mild olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 to 5 cups Chicken Stock
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup small shaped pasta
  • Grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese for serving


    Rinse the beans and soak overnight in 2 cups water in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse well. Place in a small pan and cover with 2 cups fresh water. Heat to boiling. Reduce the heat, add 1 teaspoon salt, and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Drain and toss with toss with enough fruity olive oil to coat.

    Steam the broccoli over salted boiling water until very tender. Set aside.

    Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add 2 cups chicken stock and cook until the onions are very tender. Stir in the broccoli and heat through. If you want, puree the onions and broccoli in a blender and return to the pan. Thin the soup to a consistency you like with the remaining chicken stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Just before serving, cook the pasta in a medium pot of lightly salted water until al dente. Drain well.

    Heat the broccoli soup and warm the white beans slightly in a small sauté pan over low heat.

    To serve, ladle the broccoli soup into bowls and add a spoonful of beans and a spoonful of pasta to each bowl. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese and serve hot.