16 ounce bag of dry beans
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 garlic cloves--chopped finely
1 large white onion--chopped
4 stalks celery--chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 ounces of small shells or other small pasta
1 bunch of fresh Italian parsley
Olive oil for garnishment
Vegan parmesan cheese, if desired
Cover beans with water and soak for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Place the olive oil in a stock pot and saute garlic, onion and celery until translucent. Add red pepper flakes and stir.
Add vegetable broth, water and beans to the sauteed vegetables. Place the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary in a large tea ball or cheese cloth tied with string. Drop this into the stock pot. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and simmer. Stir occasionally and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until beans are cooked through.
In a separate pan, cook the pasta according to package directions.
To serve, place 1/2 cup pasta in a bowl and then spoon a few ladles of the soup from the stock pot on top. Add a dollop of olive oil into the middle of the soup and then garnish with parsley. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.