Pasta & Dried Bean Soup Recipe
1¼ cups dried borlotti or cannellini beans
400gram can chopped plum tomatoes, with their juice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
3 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 cups ditalini or other small pasta
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Place the beans in a bowl, add cold water to cover and leave to soak overnight. Drain the beans, rinse and drain well again.
Place the beans in a large pan and add water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and drain again, then return them to the pan. Add enough water to cover them by 1 inch.
Stir in the tomatoes with their can juice, the garlic, bay leaves and olive oil and season it with pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the beans are tender for about 2 hours. Add more water during cooking if necessary to keep the beans covered.
Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pass about half of the bean mixture through a food mill or process to a purée in a food processor. Stir the purée into the pan with the remaining bean mixture. Add the measured water and bring the soup to the boil.
Add the salt and pasta. Stir, and then cook until the pasta is just tender. Stir in the parsley.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls and serve with extra olive oil for drizzling and grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling.