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Soup Recipe: Tuscan Bean Soup With Kale (& chestnuts)
  • kale-bunch1 lb. dried white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • olive oil for sautéing
  • 4 oz. pancetta, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 qt water
  • 1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, about 4 oz., plus additional cheese for sprinkling
  • 1 imported bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb Tuscan kale or regular kale, roughly chopped
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Hearty crusty bread, to serve

newsletter-graphic-free2Place beans in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.

Sauté the onions in the oil in a large pot, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pancetta and garlic and cook, stirring for another minute.  Add the beans, stock, 1 quart of the water, cheese rind, bay leaf, rosemary, salt and pepper, and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender, about 50 minutes.

Add chestnuts, kale and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.   Season soup with salt and pepper. This soup only gets better as it continues to cook so if there’s time, simmer longer, adding additional stock or water if needed.

To serve, drizzle each bowl with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Parmigiano.  Serve with plenty of good bread

Yield: 6 servings

Courtesy, Chef Abigail Hitchcock, owner of Camaje Bistro in New York City and Abigail Café & Wine Bar in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Last updated and/or approved: March 2010.

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