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Autumn’s Cool Night Bean & Pasta Soup

This soup is easy to prepare and rings in fall with a smoky stomach-warming, “Hello.”

2 andouille sausages cut into ¼ to ½ inch dice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, cut into ¼ inch dice
2 carrots cut into ¼ inch rounds
2 stalks celery, cut into ¼ inch slices
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary minced
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
½ cup dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups chicken stock (or 2, 32 oz. containers of low sodium chicken broth)
1 can (15 oz.) cannelloni beans
2 bay leaves
Optional:  1 rind of parmegiano reggiano cheese
1 can (15 oz.) navy beans
1 ½ cups short tube pasta (i.e., tubetti, or elbow)
¼ chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

In a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, sauté the andouille sausage until the outside skin begins to brown. 

Remove sausage to a plate. 

Add more olive oil if needed and sauté the onion, carrots, and celery with a dusting of salt and freshly ground pepper. 

Stir occasionally until the vegetables sweat and begin to cook down, about 5-minutes. 

Add rosemary, garlic, cayenne, and tomato paste.  Stir while sautéing to release the oils and essence of each, about 1 ½ minutes.

Add the wine and scrape the brown flavor nubs (the fond) from the sides and bottom of the pan to release them, about 2 minutes. 

Lower the heat to medium. 

Add chicken stock (or broth), the cannelloni beans, and bay leaves, and if using, the cheese rind.  Stir gently to incorporate. 

Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 30 minutes uncovered to allow soup to reduce. 

Remove rind and bay leaves. 

Using an immersion blender, pulse to puree and thicken the soup (if you don’t have an immersion blender – – get one!)  Until then, you can use a potato masher to puree some of the mixture.

Add the navy beans; bring the soup back to a simmer. 

Add the pasta and cook according to directions until the pasta is al dente. 

Taste soup and adjust seasonings as desired. 

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. 

One nice touch is to put a piece of toasted artisan bread at the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup over.  In addition, feel free to grate parmegiano reggiano cheese over each bowl of soup for added texture and flavor.

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