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White Bean & Sausage Minestrone

White Bean & Sausage Minestrone

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained
5 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons water
2 fennel bulbs trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 cups leeks, sliced
2 cup carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-1/2 cups canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried macaroni, or desired pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound spinach, stemmed and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 pound sausage links, 1/4-inch slices
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Cooking Instructions

In a medium sauce pan, over medium-high heat, combine white beans and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 to 35 minutes, or until beans are tender. Drain beans, reserving stock.

In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add fennel, leeks, carrots, and a dash of salt and pepper (to taste), and cook for 5 minutes. Add reserved stock, tomatoes and their juices, sausage, dried macaroni, and additional salt and pepper, to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until macaroni is al dente. Add beans, spinach, and basil; stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Serve with fresh Parmesan sprinkled over top of soup.

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