I have partnered with Life of Dad and Barilla Pasta for this promotion. All opinions are my own.


“What’s For Dinner Dad?” Their eyes waited patiently for my reply as I saw them notice the Barilla® Elbow Pasta on the counter. As I informed them that we would be having minestrone soup, their mouths immediately began to water as they walked slowly off to take their baths and get ready for evening. See…dinner always comes after baths at our house. We finish up dance classes, or sports, and come home to sit down as a family to eat dinner. It doesn’t happen every night, but tonight it was a confirmed family dinner. So when my friends at Barilla asked me to compete, with my fellow dads, to make an awesome recipe in 30 minutes or less…I had to say yes!

My kids have always been drawn to pasta. I think all kids are. Our family eats a plant-based diet so, the Barilla Elbow Pasta ingredients work out perfectly. Other than some simple vitamins and minerals, the main ingredients, in this pasta, are semolina (wheat) and durum wheat flour. I would say, the most important part of any pasta is the “al dente” texture once they are finished. Kids can tell  “soggy pasta” from a mile away, so it was important that the pasta, for this soup, was up to the challenge. Barilla didn’t disappoint.

For any good chef of the house, a sous chef is always a big help. For this recipe, I was lucky enough to have my daughter join me. I supervised her closely as she chopped the fresh vegetables and mixed the spices into our bowl. For me, helping my daughter cook feels amazing. Spending time together with her in the kitchen is something I will always remember, and I know someday she will look back fondly on these times when she is cooking for her own family. I can only hope that the small tips and tricks I teach her will live on in her mind and she will hopefully surpass my dadly culinary expertise in the kitchen.

In this dish, the pasta takes the main stage and you can use as much or as little as you’d like. Since my kids love pasta, we used a bit more than the 8 oz that the recipe calls for, which makes the dish more like a traditional pasta than a soup. For leftovers, feel free to add any of the Barilla Pasta Sauces to your dish for a slightly different twist. Whether you make this as a soup (as the recipe calls for below) or as a pasta dish, it will leave you feeling light, yet satisfied. The combination of flavors blends wonderfully and you can throw your ingredients in the pot while you go and finish up bath time with the kids. The prep time is simple…the hard part is waiting while the amazing flavors blend and the aroma fills your house!

As you can imagine, our lives, with three kids, are pretty busy. It’s really great to have meals like these that are quick dinners and stress free cooking, but also they can really help with school lunches. There are always leftovers to use the next day and the perfect texture of the noodles in this recipe keeps my kids coming back for more! We love the elbow pasta, but Barilla has 38 different cuts of pasta and 14 different sauce varieties to choose from, so you can make your perfect combination any way you’d like!

The most important part of this recipe to me is the time spent with my girl. By working together to create a wonderful tasting recipe, we are spending quality time together and focusing on what really matters…family around the dinner table. Have a great week everyone! Full recipe is below for you.

Stew On This: Family Bonding with Barilla

Cory Warren
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Servings 6 -8 servings


  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 4 stalks of celery cleaned and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz can tomato juice
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz Barilla Pasta noodles
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can white beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander sub for cumin if you don't have coriander
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish chopped


  • In a large pot, over medium heat, simmer the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery in the vegetable broth for 20 minutes.
  • Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, dry pasta noodles, beans, spinach, and spices. Continue cooking for 20 more minutes.
  • Salt the soup to taste and serve topped with fresh parsley!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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