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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Italian White Bean Soup

Brrrr, frosty weather calls for soup.  Too cold and too lazy to go to the store.  I feel like Old Mother Hubbard sans the dog.

The Grass Roots Cookbook - a unique collection of 301 of America's best back home hand me down recipes by Jean Anderson was my book pick.  Really what a fabulous title.  This particular recipe hails from Mrs. Charles A Volpi of Napa County, California.  No broth or stock needed just be sure to save the bean cooking liquid.  This starchy goodness becomes the base for the soup.

Hearty soup perfect for our blast of freezing nights.  We all gave it thumbs up and look forward to warmer times.

Italian White Bean Soup
from Jean Andersen's
The Grass Roots Cookbook - A Unique Collection of 301 of America's Best Back-Home Hand-Me-Down Recipes

2 cups of great northern beans washed and picked through
7 cups of water
1T safflower oil

~ put all in pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes
~ slow release steam
~ drain the beans and reserve the liquid

1T olive oil
1T unsalted butter
1 large branch of fresh sage or 1 1/2t crumbled leaf sage
2 large garlic cloves peeled and bruised
1 medium yellow sweet onion chopped
36 sweet pear tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup any small pasta (Mrs. Volpi used ditalini)
reggiano parmesan

~ heat oil and butter in a large kettle over medium heat
~ add sage, garlic and onion
~ saute slowly stirring about 10 minutes or until the onion is limp and golden ( do not allow to brown)
~ remove sage branch
~ add tomatoes and turn heat to lowest setting and cook until tomatoes pop
~ add 2 heaping ladlefuls of beans and bean cooking liquid into the tomato mixture
~ bring to a boil and add salt and pepper 
~ mash additional beans with potato masher and add to soup
~ cook pasta and serve along side of soup
~ top with grated reggiano parmesan

from our garden: sage

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