A favorite Sunday meal in our house is usually a good hearty soup. This Kale and White Bean Soup is one of my favorites (no matter the weather outside). I especially love making soups on Sunday’s just so I can bring to work for lunches for the week. I really enjoy the kale in this and think it’s a great way to get your fill on greens for the week.
1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
I usually use canned because I do not want to take up extra time cooking the beans and that seems to work out great for me
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
Accompaniment: provolone toasts
Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
Only do this step if you are using dried beans
Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.
1/2 lb sliced provolone
1 loaf Italian bread, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Cut provolone to fit bread slices and set aside.
Toast bread (without cheese) on a large baking sheet 4 inches from heat until golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn bread over and arrange provolone on top. Broil until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes.