White Bean & Sausage Minestrone
|1/2 cup||dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained|
|5 cups||vegetable stock|
|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|
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.