This is a wonderfully tasteful Italian soup that can be cooked with a pressure cooker (it comes out great and is a lot faster) or more slowly in a regular pot. This soup is sure to please your family and company with its clean Italian flavor and healthful ingredients. I have had many people ask me for this recipe after eating it at my house. Also, I have found that a quart or two of this great soup make a great gift, especially on those cold winter nights.
This recipe was designed for a pressure cooker. However, for regular pot cooking:
Soak the beans over night in the amount of water as indicated below, then, leaving them in the soaking water, cook the beans in a large covered pot until just done. Add the rest of the ingredients (except cheese) and cook until the pasta is done and carrots are just tender.
MAKES 6 QUARTS (You must use an 8 quart cooker for this larger batch or you can cut all the ingredients in half and use a smaller cooker)
14 cups water (1 or 2 cup less if beans have been presoaked over night)
1 pound Great Northern beans (soaked overnight for faster cooking)
1. Put the water and beans above in the pressure cooker. Bring to pressure on 8½-9 setting (high heat), and then cook them for 60 minutes (or for 30 minutes if beans are presoaked) on the 2-1/2 setting (medium low heat).
2 14 ounce can chicken broth
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium white or yellow onions, coarsely chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped (or celery seed)
6 teaspoons jarred minced garlic
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2-1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
3 rounded teaspoons salt
1/2 rounded teaspoon pepper
1/2 rounded teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/8 pound pasta shells