White Bean and Pasta Soup
1 ½ cups dry great northern beans
¾ pound Italian sausage links, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup uncooked small shell pasta
Grated parmesan cheese
Place beans in a dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 inches. 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 beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and pasta, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with parmesan cheese.
Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts)