A hearty Italian soup with beans, vegetables, bacon and pasta.
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups water
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
6 strips of bacon
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup chopped celery
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, with juice
2 cups chopped, cored cabbage
1 zucchini, sliced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 cup uncooked small pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for accompaniment
- In a large stockpot combine pinto beans and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain, add 4 fresh cups water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, let stand for 30 minutes. Add sliced carrots, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook strips of bacon until crisp; drain, crumble and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings.*
- In the reserved bacon drippings, cook the diced onion, chopped celery, and crushed garlic cloves until almost tender; drain on a paper towel and add to the beans.
- Add tomatoes, chopped cabbage, sliced zucchini, salt, basil, and sage to the simmering beans. Stir in noodles and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
- Sprinkle with the crumbled bacon and grated Parmesan cheese just before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
*To reduce cholesterol and low-density lippo-proteins substitute 2 tablespoons canola oil for the 2 tablespoons bacon fat.