Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup


Here's a hearty and healthy recipe to nourish you in the cold months to come (adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine)

Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 cup dried cannellini beans
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups coarsely chopped lacinato kale (stems removed)
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried crushed red pepper
4 cups cooking liquid (reserved from cooking the cannellini beans), plus 1 cup of water (and extra if needed)
2 Tbs olive oil
4 strips thick cut bacon, diced (or, if you prefer something spicier, try a hard chorizo, finely diced)
2 carrots chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced Italian tomatoes (canned)
3 Tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions
1. Place the dried beans in a pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Bring a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the beans sit for an hour to soften.

2. Drain the beans and return them to the pot. Add 7 cups water, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and sage. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the salt and kale and cook for another 4 minutes to soften the kale.

3. Drain into a large bowl (reserving the cooking liquid). Pick out the bay leaf and discard. Remove the garlic cloves, if desired. Add the lemon juice and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. In large pot, heat the olive oil and add the diced bacon. Cook until bacon is crispy and fat is rendered. Then add the carrots and celery. Saute about 5 minutes. Then add the cooking liquid, water, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Add the cannellini beans and kale. Simmer to meld flavors, tasting and seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. If the soup is too thick, add some water to thin it.

5. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese and serve!

Bon Appetit!

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