Tuscan Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup

Kale is one of those formerly unheard of vegetables that has gained couture status in the fashionable world of food over the last few years.  I can remember growing up eating this rich and hearty green (among many other elusive vegetables like broccoli rabe and artichokes) and receiving questioning, borderline judgmental stares from my schoolmates, who were likely thinking, “what is that odd thing on your sandwich and where is the bologna and mayonnaise?“.  Yes, ladies and gents, one of the many joys of growing up in an Italian family was never, ever having a socially acceptable lunch… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Those Wonder bread and American cheese kids really didn’t know what they were missing, and perhaps now they realize I was just years ahead of my time.

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Tuscan Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 large onion, finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed or 2 cups of dried cannellini beans, cooked
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves roughly torn into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
4-5 large fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
black truffle oil
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan for garnishing
crusty bread for soaking up broth

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, celery, onion, salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.  The add the beans, kale, herbs, vegetable broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until the kale is tender, about 30 minutes.

Garnish with a drizzle of truffle oil and the shaved Parmesan and serve with bread.

(*Sausage is also a great addition to this soup if you’d like to add more protein.  Just use ground sausage meat or remove from its casing and make little sausage meatballs).

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 50 minutes

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