It must be the cold winter weather, but I’m in a soup mood. Yes, nights between 18-28 degrees and days that don’t get higher than 39 degrees will do it. That’s when I pull out the cookbooks and often find myself back in Herb Store Favorites, a collection of recipes gathered from the few years I had an herb and garden store in California. (Where it didn’t get down to 18 degrees at night and the days were always well above 39 degrees!)
Here’s a recipe for Sausage, Prosciutto & Bean Soup that won 1st prize in a soup contest at Olde Thyme Gardens one year.
Sausage, Prosciutto & Bean Soup
6 oz. dry red beans
6 oz. dry small white beans
4 oz. pancetta
2 lbs. tomatoes
1 large onion
1 lb. sausage
1 prosciutto end (6-8 oz.)
3 quarts stock (vegetable, brown, or white)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dry oregano
½ lb. leafy greens
Salt and pepper
Crème fraiche for garnish – if desired
Croutons – if desired
10-12 quart stock pot
Soak beans together overnight with enough water to cover.
Dice the pancetta, coarsely chop tomatoes and onion, and slice sausage into ½” pieces.
Sauté pancetta and sausage in pot until lightly browned.
Remove meats. Drain on paper towels. Set aside and clean pot.
Bring beans to a boil in the water in which they soaked. Turn off heat. Cover and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse beans. Place them in the soup pot, along with prosciutto end, tomatoes, stock, cumin, oregano, onion and garlic. Simmer – partially covered – until the beans are completely tender, about two hours. Add more stock (or water) if needed.
Remove the prosciutto end, shred finely, and return to the soup.
Shred the greens and add them to the soup, along with the reserved sausage and pancetta.
Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.