Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pasta and Bean Soup

Very tasty soup that was quick and easy to make. I did not use hot sausage as I really am not a fan of spicy things. One thing I'd do different is to cook the sausage a little longer. I don't like the taste of sausage that is not almost overcooked. I found the recipe in the Cook's Country magazine.

2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces hot Italian sausage (about 2 links), casings removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions , chopped fine
4 garlic cloves , minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 cup ditalini or other small pasta shape
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Puree half of beans and 2 cups broth in food processor or blender until smooth; set aside. Cook sausage in large pot over medium-high heat, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain sausage on paper towel-lined plate.

2. Add oil and onions to fat in pot and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, remaining whole beans, remaining broth, pureed bean mixture, cooked sausage, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes and onions are very soft, about 15 minutes.

3. About 10 minutes before soup is done, bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, then add to soup. Stir in basil and Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Make Ahead: Soup can be refrigerated for 3 days, but do not add pasta. Store pasta and soup in separate containers and combine just prior to serving.

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