Saturday, February 5, 2011

White bean and kale soup

T olive oil
2 C chopped onions (don’t skimp)
1 bay leaf (adds so much flavor – don’t skip this)
2 stalks celery, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
6 C liquid (I used 4 C chicken stock and 2 C water, which was a great balance. Vegetable stock would be appropriate here also. I highly recommend chicken stock over chicken broth)
2 cans cannellini beans – rinsed thoroughly
4 large cloves garlic – minced or squeezed through garlic press (don’t skimp here either)
1 bunch kale – rinsed and minced
Fresh black pepper
Parmesan cheese for the top when serving

Sautee the onions, carrots, celery and bay leaf in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add the liquid (broth and/or water), cover, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are nice and tender.

You need all this time to prepare the kale! With great patience, remove and discard every stem and large vein and then mince each leaf. I actually used two bunches, which was too much. It did not really shrink down much when I cooked it. I also recommend mincing it very small. I thought it would kinda shrink, but it didn’t.

Add the beans, garlic and kale. Use only the leaves and not the stems of the kale.  Stir in all the garlic thoroughly!  Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the kale is cooked. Your kitchen will smell wonderful!

Serve with lots of fresh pepper and parmesan cheese. I think the regular ‘dry’ kind of parmesan cheese from the shaker container would be just fine in this soup.