The day before you plan to make the soup, place the
16 Bean Soup Mix (1 bag)
in a large bowl, add cold water to cover by 2 inches, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, drain the beans, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Place the beans in a large pot with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam that rises to the top. The beans should be very tender and the skin will peel away when you blow on a bean.
Meanwhile, heat the
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (2 Tbsp)
in a medium (10-inch) stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the
Pancetta (3/4 cup)
and saute over medium to medium-high heat for 12 to 18 minutes, until browned.
Garlic (3 cloves)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (1/4 tsp)
and saute for one minute. Add the
San Marzano Tomatoes (1 can)
Dry Red Wine (1 cup)
Chicken Stock (4 cups)
. Season to taste with up to 1 tablespoon of
Kosher Salt (to taste)
and 1 teaspoon
Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
, and turn off the heat.
Drain the beans and add two-thirds of them to the soup. Puree the remaining beans in a blender or with an immersion blender, adding a small amount of stock or water if necessary. Stir the bean puree and the
Ditalini Pasta (1 cup)
into the soup, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender. Add up to 2 more cups chicken stock if the soup is too thick.
Stir in the
Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup)
Red Wine Vinegar (1 Tbsp)
. Ladle the soup into large shallow bowls and add a swirl of olive oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and some
Fresh Basil Leaves (to taste)
. Serve hot with extra Parmesan on the side.