Just so you know (a.k.a. full disclosure), I did not use kale from my garden for this recipe. There is kale out there – I swear it – but it’s buried under a couple feet of snow at this moment and while I love you all, I’m not that dedicated…
So everyone has a version of this soup I think. It’s yummy and hearty and can be served to vegetarians with ease just by swapping in veggie stock. I also love it since I can top it with an acre of parmesan cheese. I dressed this version up a bit with a toasted parm crouton, but a wave of grated cheese is simply amazing too.
White Bean and Kale Stew
- 1 Yellow Onion (diced)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Bundles Kale (deveined and chopped into reasonable sized pieces)
- 6 Cups Chicken or Veggie Stock (use the good stuff if you're not using homemade)
- 1 28 Oz. Can Italian Tomatoes (squish them with your hand before adding them to the pot)
- 2 15.5 Oz Cans Cannellini Beans (drained)
- 1 Tspn Thyme
- 2 Tbspns Dried Celery Leaves (you can use fresh, just throw them in with the onions and garlic to sauté)
- 3 Slices Hearty Whole Wheat Bread, not from a plastic bag if you know what I mean (cubed)
- 1 Rind Parmesan Cheese
- S&P (to taste)
- Olive Oil
|Over a medium flame, pour a bit of olive oil into a large, heavy bottomed pan and add the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Cook until onion starts to pale.|
|Add the chopped kale, stir for a minute or so to allow it to shrink down a bit, and then add the stock and tomatoes.|
|Next add your beans, cheese rind, thyme and celery. Give a good stir and then add the bread. Cover and simmer for a good half an hour or until the bread breaks down.|
|Add salt and pepper to taste.|
|Ladle into bowls and top with a cute little homemade crouton if desired.|
I save my left over parm cheese rinds in a bag in the freezer (my freezer is kind of frightening honestly, there are some crazy things in there). They’re also great in minestrone so it’s nice to have on hand. Waste not, want not right? Also, you can see in the photo above a few garbanzo’s floating around – I ran out of cannellini so I popped them in. It worked really well. And if you’d like to make your own stock, here’s how I make my veggie stock, which also falls into the ‘waste not want not department’, and here’s another great version if you don’t want bags of vegetable scraps lying around.
Happy gardening (and cooking) all!