White Bean and Pasta Soup
Ham, navy beans, and Spanish onion make this pasta soup something special.
Serves: 9 servings
- 8 cups water or unsalted chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups dried navy beans or Great Northern beans, cleaned and soaked
- 8 ounces ham, at least 97% lean, diced (about 1 2/3 cups)
- 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
- 2 large stalks celery, thinly sliced (include the leaves)
- 1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
- 1 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 ounces wagon wheel pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Place all of the ingredients except for the pasta in a 4-quart pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Remove the bay leaf from the soup, and discard.
- Transfer 3 cups of the soup-including beans, vegetables, and hot broth-to a blender. Place the lid on the blender, leaving the top slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Carefully blend at low speed until the mixture is smooth. Return the puréed soup to the pot, and stir to mix well.
- Add the pasta to the pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Add a little more water or broth if the soup seems too dry. (Be careful not to overcook, as the pasta will continue to soften in the hot soup.)
- Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, and serve hot.
Excerpted from The Best-Kept Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. Copyright Ã¯Â¿Â½ 2000 by Sandra Woodruff.
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