Zuppa di Fagioli Fiorentina

This soup is almost a meal in itself. Thick and nourishing and simple to prepare, Zuppa di Fagioli Fiorentina (zoo-pah dee faj-ee-oh-lee f’yor-chn-tee-nah) is traditionally served with a bozel of grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the soup as desired. For a delicious extra touch pour

2 tablespoons of dry sherry into each serving.

6

10 oz. dried white haricot beans, soaked overnight and drained

4 oz. large macaroni, broken INTO 4-inch pieces

1 lb. bacon hock, sliced INTO 1-inch cubes

1 large onion, sliced

1 large garlic clove, crushed

4 medium-sized tomatoes, quartered

3 pints vegetable stock bouquet garni, consisting of parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

½ teaspoon salt v teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Place all the ingredients in a large sauce-pan and set the pan over high heat. Bring the liquid to the boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for H to 2 hours or until the beans are cooked.

Taste the soup and add more seasoning if necessary.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve immediately.

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