Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta

Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta

I have been cooking and baking like crazy the past couple of days but just haven’t had a minute to blog so this morning I’m hoping to catch up.  Made this soup for dinner on Tuesday night.  It comes from a blog called “The Italian Dish” and it was a hit with the hungry boys at my house.

1 cup dried cannellini or cellini beans or 1 (15 oz) can of any beans you like, drained (I used Great Northern Beans)

1 pound ground sausage, turkey or pork (I used 1 of those Hillshire Farms sausages)

1/2 medium onion, diced (I used a whole onion)

1/2 medium carrot, diced (I used about 2 – 3 carrots and I also added 2 – 3 celery)

3 tablespoons olive oil (this was too much, next time I’ll use 1 – 2)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

6 – 8 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper

1 cup ditalini pasta or any small pasta (I used bowtie)

grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1  If using dried beans, place them in a pot, cover with cold water and let soak for several hours or overnight.  Drain.  Cover with fresh water and simmer gently, covered, til just soft, about an hour.  Drain again.

2  In a large pot, brown sausage.  Remove from pot.  Pour out excess fat.  Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 5 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and saute about 1 minute more.  Add tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper, beans and sausage and cover pot.  Cook 30 – 45 minutes over low heat at gentle simmer.

3  If using dried beans, check for doneness at this point.  If using canned beans, add pasta now.  If beans are not soft enough, cover and cook for another 15 – 30 minutes.  Add pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is tender.

4  Serve with grated cheese on top.

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