Yields 8 servings
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
1 Large onion, white minced
4 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Tbls oil, extra virgin olive plus extra for serving
1 1/2 tsp oregano, fresh minced
1/8 tsp pepper, crushed red
6 Cups stock, vegetable OR chicken, low-sodium
15 Ounce(wt)s sauce, tomato
6 1/2 Ounce(wt)s beans, great northern, dried picked over
2 Large carrots peeled, cut in 1/2-in pieces
1 Large squash, zucchini 1/4 length, slice 1/4-in thick
8 Ounce(wt)s Swiss chard stemmed, leaves sliced 1/2-in
1/2 Cup pasta, ditalini
1/2 Cup basil, fresh minced
1 to taste salt and pepper
1 to taste cheese, parmesan, grated for serving
Salt soak the beans: Pick through and rinse the beans. For every pound of beans, dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts of boiling water . Combine the beans and the hot salt water in a large pot and let the beans soak at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the beans, discarding the soaking liquid, and rinse well before cooking.
Microwave onion, garlic, oil, oregano, and red pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.
Stir broth, tomato sauce, soaked beans, and carrots into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
Stir in zucchini, chard, and pasta, cover and cook on high until vegetables and pasta are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in basil, salt & pepper to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese and extra olive oil.
Serve with: Rosemary Onion Focaccia