The Spicy Olive’s Longevity Soup
A delicious, healthy savory soup! Recipe adapted from The Blue Zone cookbook. The Blue Zones are regions in the world where people live long, healthy lives. This soup is a staple in the diet of Sardinians, one of the Blue Zones.
  • 1/2cup fava beansdried and peeled
  • 1/2 cup cranberry beansdried
  • 1/2cup chickpeasdried or canned
  • 7Tablespoons The Spcy Olive’s Ultra Premium single vairetal olive oil
  • 1medium Yellow Onionchopped
  • 2medium Carrotspeeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celerychopped
  • 2teaspoons Garlicminced
  • 1 28 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups fennelcrushed
  • 1/4cup Italian flat leaf parsleychopped
  • 1/4cup fresh basil leaveschopped or torn
  • 2/3cup pastaSardinian fregula, Israel couscous or acini di pepe
  • 1/2teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4cup pecorino Romano cheesegrated
  1. Soak the fava beans, cranberry beans, and chickpeas in a large bowl of water for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours (that is, overnight). Drain in a colander set in the sink. Rinse well.
  2. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, parsley, and basil, as well as the drained beans and chickpeas. Add enough water (6 to 8 cups) so that everything is submerged by 1 inch.
  4. Raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, until the beans are tender, adding more water as necessary if the mixture gets too thick, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
  5. Stir in the pasta, salt, and pepper. Add up to 2 cups water if the soup seems too dry. Continue simmering, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Pour 1-2 tablespoon of olive oil into each of your serving bowls. Divide the soup among them and top each with 1 tablespoon of the grated cheese.
  7. Tip: You can vary the beans in the minestrone: pinto beans make a good substitute for cranberry beans; great northern or cannellini beans, or lima for the favas.
  8. Tip: Use the stalks and fronds that come off a fennel bulb for the most intense flavor. No feathery fronds on the bulb? Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to the aromatic vegetables you sauté to begin the dish.
  9. Tip: Add other fresh vegetables from the garden or market, such as zucchini, cabbage, green beans, and cauliflower or broccoli florets.
  10. Tip: Want a stronger tomato taste? Stir in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.
  11. Enjoy! Recipe adapted from The Blue Zone cookbook.