My husband and I savor every spoonful of this hearty soup. It makes a real stick-to-your ribs meal when served with crusty oven-fresh bread.
- 1-1/2 cups dried great northern beans
- 3/4 pound Italian sausage links, casings removed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups hot water
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup uncooked small shell pasta
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven 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 and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
- In the same pan, cook the sausage, onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the broth, water, currants, basil and reserved beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomatoes and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with cheese. Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts).
Originally published as White Bean and Pasta Soup in Country Woman May/June 2001, p29
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