This is a comforting soup. I first had it in an Italian restaurant a couple of summers ago. I was in New Jersey for the funeral of the mother of my friend Kay. After the funeral, I went out for lunch with Kay's family, and I had a bowl of kale-bean soup. It was not just delicious, but, after the emotion of the funeral, a soothing comfort. When I came back home, I searched for similar recipes on the web, and I've been very happy with this one. Everyone I have ever served this soup to has asked for the recipe.
adapted from www.portuguese-recipes.com
1 T. olive or canola oil
6-8 garlic cloves (crushed or minced)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups kale, chopped if fresh (1 bunch is plenty). You can use frozen 2 or 3 pkgs. or if canned use 2 to 3 cans) (I use fresh)
4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 (15-1/2 oz.) cans white beans (I use cannelini)
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes or 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of chopped parsley
This is a great meatless soup, but you can also add sausage, chicken or stew beef (cook the meat first).
- In a large pot, heat olive oil, then add garlic and onion.
- Sauté these ingredients until soft.
- Add kale and sauté until wilted.
- Measure off 3 cups of broth and 2 cups of beans and add to the sautéed vegetables, along with the tomatoes, herbs, salt, and pepper; from the parsley, leave aside enough for a garnish at the end. (See step 6 for what you do with the rest of the broth and beans.)
- Simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
- Using a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. Mix into the soup (makes it thicker). Add the cooked meat, if you're using it.
- Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve it up in bowls and garnish with parsley.