Italian Bean and Pasta Soup
- Yield 10 cups
This combination of creamy bean soup with al dente pasta is simply irresistible.
- 1 pound dried cranberry or pinto beans (about 3 cups), picked over and rinsed
- 10 cups water
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pieces Parmigiano Reggiano rind, roughly 2 x 3-inches (optional)
- 2 cups dried ditalini pasta, cooked and tossed with oil
- Bring beans and water to a boil in a large heavy soup pot and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 2 hours. Do not drain.
- Heat 1⁄4 cup olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium- high heat. Add onions and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; sauté 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, rosemary and pepper; sauté, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
- Add beans with their soaking liquid and cheese rind (if using) and simmer, covered, 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Remove from heat and stir in 1⁄4 cup oil and remaining 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt. Let cool.
- Remove and discard cheese rind. Transfer soup to a blender or food processor and purée; return to the pot. (Or use an immersion blender and purée the soup in the pot.) Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with spoonfuls of pasta and a drizzle of olive oil.
Recipe from Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup (2013, Storey Publishing)