Brussels can be quite a grey and rainy place at this time of the year. A perfect time to serve up a nutritious and warming soup that feeds you well and doesn’t even take a lot of your time in the kitchen. I’ve made this soup a few times in the past weeks and it never disappointed.
Tuscan Bean and Kale Soup
Adapted from Laura Messersmith on Food52
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1.6 litres of organic chicken stock
500g canned cannellini beans (or a mix of cannellini and borlotti beans)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 dried bay leaves
2 generous handfuls of kale, roughly chopped
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
150g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
6 slices of rustic bread, cut into thick slices
extra-virgin olive oil to serve
Heat the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions, celery and carrots to the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened but not browned.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the vegetables and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant and soft.
Next, use a sieve to drain and rinse the cannellini (and borlotti) beans. Strip the leaves from the sprigs of rosemary reserving the stems and finely mince the leaves. Remove the tough centre ribs of the kale and roughly chop the leaves into large pieces.
Add the chicken broth, beans, rosemary stems, parmesan rind and bay leaves to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a low boil for 5 minutes. Reduce to a bare simmer, add chopped kale, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the kale wilts.
Remove and discard the bay leaves and rosemary stems. Ladle 1/4 of the soup into a blender or food processor and process at low speed until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Roast the bread and ladle the soup on top of one slice of bread per serving. Serve with a sprinkle of the reserved chopped rosemary leaves, grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.