1 1/4 cups dried beans, such as kidney beans or white beans
5 oz. salt pork of slab bacon, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 quarts beef stock or water
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup macaroni or any small pasta
Grated parmesan cheese
Cover the beans with water and soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, put in a large saucepan with 2 quarts water and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.
Meanwhile, place the salt pork or bacon in another saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, strain and refresh in cold water. Spread on paper towels to dry. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and lightly brown the salt pork or bacon over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes, celery and garlic, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes without coloring. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming any fat from the surface. Add the bouquet garni and cabbage and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain the beans and add to the soup mixture. Return to the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for another 15 minutes, or until soft. Check the seasoning and remove the bouquet garni. Serve with the grated Parmesan sprinkled over the top.
Active Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 12 hours
Yield: 8 Servings