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This is one of those meals that has everything -- protein, carbohydrates, and lots of vitamins and minerals. The incomplete proteins that you find in beans and wheat (the pasta) become complete when you eat the two together, so it doesn't need any added meat except for flavor and inclination. Plus it is just fundamentally satisfying, one of those meals that satisfies the soul as well as the body. We've written the directions to give you a lot of latitude in timing and ingredient composition. It will serve 8 people liberally.
2 cups of beans (a 1 pound bag); these can be whatever you want but a mixed soup blend is colorful and fun
water to cover (2 to 2 1/2 quarts)
2 1/2 quarts stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 to 2 cups grated carrots
1 to 2 cups chopped celery
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced (or more or less depending on how you feel about garlic)
1 pound plum (or other) tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or use a l4-oz. can)
1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried); or use a little oregano, marjoram, savory, etc., whatever smells and/or tastes good to you
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup pasta of your choice, either small or broken in pieces
1 pound sausage, sweet, hot or a combination, crumbled, cooked and drained
The night before you want to serve your soup, cover the beans with fresh water and let them soak until about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before your meal.
Drain them, put them in a soup pot and add the stock. Stir in everything else except the pasta and sausage, bring to a boil and let simmer until the beans are almost tender.
Add the pasta and sausage and cook until the pasta is tender. Serve with a green salad and a crusty loaf of bread.
This recipe printed from The Baking Sheet®. The Baking Sheet is a newsletter published six times a year by King Arthur Flour. To order a subscription to The Baking Sheet, call The Baker's Catalogue at 1.800.827.6836 or click on The Baking Sheet.