Cold Midwestern winters call for steaming bowls of this robust soup. I like to serve it as a meal with a green salad and lots of fresh Italian bread.
- 2-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) beef broth
- 3-1/4 cups hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
- 3 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- Hot cooked macaroni
- Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
- In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, saute the ham, onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender. Add the next six ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add beans; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Serve over macaroni; garnish with cheese if desired. Yield: 12-16 servings (about 4 quarts).
Originally published as Italian Macaroni Soup in Home-Style Soups, Salad and Sandwiches Cookbook 1996, p12
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