Fagioli Soup

This soup has such a simple ingredients list, you will wonder where its fabulous flavour comes from. It's the beans, of course, but still ...


1 c dried navy beans
8 c water
1 tb ketchup
1 tb salt (or less, to taste)
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp basil
1 bay leaf
1 c tiny pasta shells (or any noodles, really)

Combine first 9 ingredients in large pot; bring to boil. 
Cover and simmer slowly for about 2 hours, till beans are tender. 
Discard bay leaf.
Add raw pasta. 
Simmer till tender, about 10 minutes. 
Stir occasionally; if too thick, add water.

* From Jean Paré’s Company’s Coming: Pasta cookbook