With cooked beans, this satisfying soup comes together quickly. Add in vegetables to your liking, such as spinach, chard or carrots. Additionally, you can add any amount of Italian sausage cooked and crumbled to add in to the whole pot or individual portions. For pasta, choose your favorite shape (I use what I have on hand.) I highly recommend crusty bread for sopping up the beany broth.
Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until it turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the carrots, if using, and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the broth, beans, parmesan cheese rind, if using, and the salt and pepper. Bring the pot to a simmer and cook over low heat, partially covered until ready to cook the pasta. (You can prepare the soup in advance up to this point.)
About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, raise the heat to a boil, add the noodles and cook until al dente. (See note.)
To thicken the broth, remove about 1 cup of beans with the broth into a large glass measuring cup and puree using an immersion blender or potato masher. Pour the mashed beans back into the broth, taste for seasoning and serve.
To store leftovers, reserve the pasta and beans in a separate container from the soup broth. Otherwise, they will drink up all the available liquids.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry