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White Bean & Sausage Minestrone

1/2 cupdried white beans, soaked overnight and drained
5 cupsvegetable stock
3 tablespoonswater
2 fennel bulbstrimmed and coarsely chopped
2 cupsleeks, sliced
2 cupcarrots, sliced
3 clovesgarlic, finely chopped
2-1/2 cupscanned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cupdried macaroni, or desired pasta
Salt and pepperto taste
1/2 pound spinach, stemmed and finely chopped
1/4 cupfresh basil, chopped
1 poundsausage links, 1/4-inch slices
GratedParmesan cheese, for garnish
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White Bean & Sausage Minestrone - 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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