Kale and White Bean Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 quarts
 
Perfumed by sweet bay, Kale and White Bean Soup is a staple on my family's kitchen table during the cold, dark evenings of winter when dinnertime calls for something wholesome, nourishing and filling. It's easy to make, wonderfully light on the budget and excellent served with a hunk of whole-grain sourdough bread and a drizzle of olive oil.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cannellini beans
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (available here)
  • 4 ounces bacon, chopped fine
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped fine
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups roasted chicken bone broth (buy it here or get the recipe)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch (about 8-ounces) Lacinato kale, trimmed of tough stems and veins and sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Toss the beans into a large mixing bowl, and cover them with hot water by 2 inches. Stir in the baking soda, and allow the beans to soak at least 12 and up to 24 hours. Drain the beans and rinse them well.
  2. Toss the beans into a pot, cover them with water by 2 inches and then stir in the salt. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat, and then turn own the heat to medium. Simmer the beans until tender and yielding, about 90 minutes. Drain the beans and set them in a waiting bowl, and then wipe out your soup pot.
  3. Warm the olive oil over medium heat, and then stir in the chopped bacon, allowing it to cook until it renders its fat and crisps, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the crushed red pepper, onion, carrots, celery and garlic, and stir them into the hot fat until they release their fragrance - about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the broth and the cooked beans, and then drop in the bay leaves. Cover the pot and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn off the heat, adjust seasoning with salt, and drop in the chopped kale. Cover the pot once more and allow the kale to wilt in the residual heat of the broth, about 5 minutes further.
Notes
You can use canned beans. You can use canned cannellini beans. I recommend these beans because they're organic and packed in glass jars.

You can make the beans in advance.If you have extra time on the weekend, but not much during the week, just boil the beans in salted water in advance, and store them in the fridge up to five days or in the freezer up to 6 months. You can add them to the soup pot still frozen, if you're in a pinch.
Recipe by Nourished Kitchen at http://nourishedkitchen.com/kale-and-white-bean-soup/