|½ pounds||Dried navy beans|
|4 tablespoons||Olive oil|
|2||Garlic cloves, chopped|
|3||Ribs celery, diced|
|1 small||Imported bay leaf and 5 sprigs fresh|
|Parsley, tied together with kitchen twine|
|¼ teaspoon||Ground allspice|
|¼ teaspoon||Crushed red pepper flakes|
|6 cups||Chicken broth|
|4||Fresh sausages (mild Italian)|
|Freshly ground black pepper|
Soak the navy beans overnight in plenty of cold water; the next day drain the beans and rinse them under cool water. Set aside. Place the oil and onion in a soup kettle, set over low heat and cook slowly until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the garlic and celery and stir-cook for 1 minute. Drop in the bay leaf and parsley bundle. Stir in the allspice, red pepper flakes, broth, and navy beans. Bring the soup base to a boil, skimming it as necessary; boil 3 minutes. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours, or until the beans are quite tender. Discard the parsley-bay leaf bundle. (The soup may be prepared in advance to this point.) To finish the soup, grill the sausages under the broiler or pan-fry them for about 20 minutes, letting them cook for 10 minutes on each side. Slice the sausage into ⅓-inch disks. Add the sausage rounds to the soup and let simmer for 5 minutes longer to blend the flavors.
Season with salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into warm bowls and serve piping hot.
Makes 5 servings.
[WASHINGTON POST JAN 11, 1989] Posted by Fred Peters.
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