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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup

I realize summer doesn't seem like it should be soup weather, but with this nice, fresh kale to cook with, I wanted to make this traditional Italian soup. It is both light and comforting,  and my Italian husband thinks it tastes very much like something his grandmother would have made. For me, that's a high compliment. 

I used some of the curly kale in this, but any variety would work. You could also substitute spinach, if you don't have kale, but this is closer to the traditional recipe. 

Tuscan Kale and Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil 
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
8 cups vegetable  or chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup ditalini pasta or orzo
1 pint chopped tomatoes
1 small can canellini beans
3 cups kale, chopped
Pesto and freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
In a large stock pot, saute onions and garlic until onions are soft. Add carrots, and cook 5-7 minutes until carrots begin to soften.  Add stock and bring to a boil. Stir in spice and pasta, and boil until pasta is cooked, 5-7 minutes.  Add tomatoes, beans, and kale, and simmer until kale is tender, another 20-30 minutes. When ready to serve, drop a spoonful of pesto into the bowl, and top with parmesan cheese. 

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