White Bean and Pasta Soup
1-1/2 cups dried great northern beans
3/4 pound Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups hot water
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup uncooked small shell pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
In the same pan, cook the sausage, onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the broth, water, currants, basil and reserved beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with cheese. Makes 12 servings (3 quarts).