Prep 30 mins
Cook 6 hrs
- 1⁄2 lb dried white bean (navy or cannellini)
- 2 lbs bulk pork sausage
- 2 -3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion
- 3 carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1⁄2 bunch curly cabbage or 1⁄2 bunch swiss chard
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- parmesan cheese, a large piece of rind for soup and grated cheese for garnish
- 4 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- peasant bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1⁄2 bunch parsley
- Prepare beans by washing them well. Cover with water in stock pot and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let beans sit in the water for a couple of hours to soften.
- Add more water to pot to cover beans, add thyme, rosemary and bay leaf, and simmer until barely done, about 45 minutes. They should be watched because they tend to become mushy soon after they're done. Remove herbs.
- Clean and cut into medium dice the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Roughly chop the curly cabbage or chard; if using chard, cut the stems into medium dice.
- In large skillet, sauté sausage onion and carrots in olive oil over medium heat. After a few minutes, add celery, then the cabbage or chard and garlic, adding more oil if needed.
- Reduce heat, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vegetable mixture to the beans with tomatoes and the cheese rind.
- Add enough stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) to cover. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to boil, then simmer 1 hour to blend flavors.
- Add bread cubes. Allow to rest for several hours.
- Mince parsley and stir into soup, reheat, and serve with grated Parmesan on top.
- Pass olive oil to drizzle over soup.
- From original poster: Please note that the long hours are passive cook time. Leftover pasta, green beans, peas, pancetta (if you omit the sausage) and potatoes all can be added to the pot the next day.