White Bean Soup (with Ham and Pasta)

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably plum tomatoes
  • 2 - 19-ounce cans cannelloni beans
  • 1/2 pound baked ham, finely chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup tiny pasta shells
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation:
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onions and sauté over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until they are soft but not brown.
  3. Add the garlic, plum tomatoes (which have been crushed or mashed with a potato masher), cannelloni beans, ham, chicken stock, water and crushed red pepper.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil, stirring often.
  5. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the pasta shells.
  7. Return soup to a boil.
  8. Lower the heat, cover the pan.
  9. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more.
  10. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper, if desired.
  11. Serve at once.

Note: Don't sauté the garlic with the onion. Your final result will taste better because the garlic will cook more quickly than the onions, and over-browned garlic is bitter.

Kitchen tools you'll need: Dutch Oven, Soup Bowls

Prep time: 15 Min; Cooking time: 1 Hrs 10 Min; Total time: 1 Hrs 25 Min

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