14 December 2012

Tuscan (?) Kale and White Bean Soup

“I’m not persuaded by kale. I do not accept it as the new spinach.” Frank Bruni"

Well, it's not the new spinach, Frank, because it's better--it has texture, for one.  I keep reading recipes claiming to be Tuscan that mix kale and white beans into a soup.  I have no evidence that this soup truly is Tuscan, but here it is.  

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

Serves 8

1 ½ cups dry white beans
1 bay leaf
1 dried red chili. whole
½ yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large bunch kale, chopped
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes in their sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight.  Drain, rinse, and place in a pressure cooker or stock pot along with bay leaf, dried chili, and 2 teaspoons salt.  Pour 3 cups of water in and bring to a boil.  Cook 25 minutes in the pressure cooker, 1 ½ hours in the stock pot, or until beans are tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.  When it shimmers, sauté the onion and carrot until they begin to get soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the kale, mushrooms, oregano, and rosemary and stir to coat; add the lemon juice and lemon zest, stir again, and cover.  Cook until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in the garlic; cover and set aside.  

When beans are done, add tomatoes and sautéed vegetables to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper.