Pasta and Bean Soup
Rinse beans. In a large saucepan combine beans and 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or, skip boiling the water and soak beans overnight in a covered pan.)Advertisement
Drain and rinse the soaked beans. In the same pan combine beans, the 5 cups fresh water, onion, carrot, celery, crumbled pancetta or bacon, bouillon granules, garlic, sage, marjoram, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.* Slightly mash beans in saucepan. Stir in uncooked pasta. Increase heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or just until pasta is tender. To serve, ladle into soup bowls. If desired, drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
Shortcut Pasta and Bean Soup:
Prepare soup as directed above, except omit dry beans and their soaking step. In a large saucepan combine 3-1/2 cups water, the onion, carrot, celery, pancetta or bacon, bouillon granules, garlic, sage, marjoram, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in one 15-ounce can cannellini or navy beans, rinsed and drained. Continue as directed following the asterisk (*).