Cookie magazine (RIP) featured this delicious soup recipe in one of their final issues. The picture in the magazine alone makes my mouth water (my picture above is a poor attempt to tempt you) . . . and makes me wish I lived in a log cabin where it snows 365 days a year and I only serve tasty comfort food served in large white bowls shaped as small pots. Ahhh, yes, that really is a dream of mine.
Back in reality, I tried making the soup (especially because it contains kale and lots of beans--two things I need more of in my life), and I LOVED it! The kale turned out to be my favorite part--adds a little crunch and texture to what could otherwise be conceived as your common bean soup.
I froze half of the soup batch, and just last week I thawed it out and was again reminded how much I love this recipe. I just HAVE to share it with you :)
Serves 6 | 20 minutes active time | 1 1/2 hours total
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped (I think I added two because I love carrots!)
1 celery stalk, chopped (again, one just didn't seem like enough, so I used two)
4 ounces pancetta (expensive!) or ham (not quite so healthy . . . I honestly believe you can easily make this vegetarian and it would still be DELICIOUS! I'd just drop the meat).
1/2 cup olive oil
1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
3 15-oz cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed (I found these at WF--the 365 brand is really cheap--and locally at Reasor's--their Great Value organic brand is actually a few cents cheaper than WF).
2 cups chicken broth (veggie broth if you're going vegetarian)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (my favorite part of the dish! The flavor really bursts in this!)
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs (I just toasted some panko on a hot skillet)
1. In a large pot over medium heat, saute the first five ingredients in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil for 5 minutes.
My daughter had to taste-test the carrots for me :)
2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, along with the beans, broth, and rosemary. Simmer, covered, until the beans break apart, about an hour (it took longer than an hour for me).
3. Add the kale and cook for 5-7 minutes more. Stir in the bread crumbs and serve, drizzled with the remaining olive oil and sprinkled with the cheese.