Chock-full of choice veggies and savory sausage, this filling soup from Diane Antonioli of Marmora, New Jersey will fit nicely into almost any event. "It's a big hit at our house," Diane acknowledges. "My husband and our three children request it all year-round."—Diane Antonioli, Marmora, New Jersey
- 1 pound dried great northern beans
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 7 bacon strips, diced
- 3 cups thinly sliced onion
- 2 cups thinly sliced celery
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound fully cooked smoked sausage, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- Place beans in a Dutch over or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
- Drain beans and discard liquid; return beans to Dutch oven. Add broth, water and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon, onion, celery and carrots until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 12 minutes. Add sausage, garlic and sugar; cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to Dutch oven. Stir in tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until beans begin to bread apart and soup thickens, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper and pepper sauce. Discard bay leaves before serving. Yield: 12-14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Tomato Bean Soup in Country Woman March/April 1998, p11
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