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Although there are many variations of this hearty soup depending on its region of origin and the season, it will always consist of vegetables and stock with the addition of pasta or rice.
- 1 1/4 cups dried beans, such as kidney beans or white (navy) beans
- 5 ounces salt pork or slab bacon, diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 potatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 quarts beef stock or water
- Bouquet garni
- 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
- 1 cup macaroni or any small pasta
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Cover the beans with water and soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, place in a large saucepan with 2 quarts water and simmer over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.
Meanwhile, place the salt pork or bacon in another saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, strain and refresh in cold water. Spread on paper towels to dry. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and lightly brown the salt pork or bacon over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes, celery and garlic, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes, making sure the vegetables do not brown. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming any fat from the surface. Add the bouquet garni and cabbage and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain the beans and add to the soup mixture. Return to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for another 15 minutes, or until soft. Check the seasoning and remove the bouquet garni. Serve with the grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.
Tip: A bouquet garni is a small bunch of herbs — usually parsley, thyme, and bay leaves — tied together in a bundle or sachet.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Periplus Editions. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
420 calories; 9g total fat; 5mg cholesterol; 118mg sodium; 66g carbohydrates; 13g fiber; 21g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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