1 cup dried kidney, navy, or lima beans
2-1/2 qts. water
2 lbs. beef shin or marrow bones
3 slices bacon, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup shopped potatoes
1 cup shelled, fresh peas (about 1 lb. unshelled)
2 zucchini squash, diced
1-1/2 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned and drained
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. powdered sage
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/4 cup raw rice
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. minced, flat Italian parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
additional grated cheese for garnish
Wash the beans and put them in a large soup kettle. Cover with cold
water, bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Let stand 1 hour.
Drain, add the 2-1/2 quarts of water and the beef bones. Bring to
a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours.
Sauté bacon until golden in a large frying pan. Drain off
the fat. Add the oil and the onions and cook over medium heat for
5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, peas,
and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Remove the beef bones from the beans after 1-1/2 hours. Add fried
vegetables, tomatoes, cabbage, salt, pepper, garlic, sage, and basil.
Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Add the rice and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
Cream together the butter, cheese, and parsley. Add to the hot soup,
just before serving, and stir until the butter has dissolved. Serve
with additional grated cheese if desired.
Serve it in the summer with plenty of crisp grissini (skinny Italian
breadsticks) and lots of butter to dip them in.
(This soup is also delicious cooled to room temperature.)