Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup

1 ¼ cups dried great northern beans
4 cups cold water
1 can (14 ½ ounces) whole Italian style peeled tomatoes
1 can (14 ½ ounces) beef broth
2 cups sliced zucchini (approximately 1 medium)
¾ pound Italian sausage, sliced in ½" slices
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup dry red wine (or water)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ of a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach

grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

The day before:
Sort and rinse the beans, then put in the pot with the 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 min.; let soak for 3 hours. Drain, rinse, and store the refrigerator in water-filled containers. Place the package of spinach in the fridge to thaw.

The next day:
Slice the sausage, brown in the soup pot, then drain the fat. Add tomatoes, broth, zucchini, onion, red wine, garlic, and seasoning; add soaked beans.

Cook until beans are tender, approximately 1 hour. Remove thawed spinach from the refrigerator and squeeze the excess moisture from the spinach. Stir into the pot and simmer 5 min. more.

Sprinkle grated cheese on top at the table.


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