This is a Provençal minestrone enriched at the end with pistou; basil, Parmesan and olive oil sauce. The recipe calls for freshly shelled white beans. Lacking those, soak dried beans overnight in cold water. The next morning drain them and set them to boil in water to cover with a pinch of salt. Lower the heat to a simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours until tender. Stir occasionally. Drain into a colander over another pot. Reserve the soaking water and use as part of the liquid called for in the recipe. If you make this a day ahead, add the pasta when you reheat.
In New England this is served for Thanksgiving. In the South it is served on Christmas Eve. We’ve gussied up our version with a pinch of saffron added at the end. Try blending ½ teaspoon of Spanish Smoke Paprika with 2 tablespoons of hot melted butter to drizzle over the stew when served.
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