I have been trying to eat more “super foods” lately and one vegetable I never think to buy is kale. Kale reminds me a lot of spinach when it’s cooked so I thought a hearty Italian soup with kale would fit together nicely. This recipe is a peasant style soup with white beans, potatoes, veggies, and Italian bacon. I added a little red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, and lemon zest to brighten up the broth and the result was a really tasty, hearty stew! I decided to use chickpeas and cannellini beans but you can use any variety of white bean you like. The soup is garnished with Italian parsley and a few slices of parmigiano reggiano. I served the soup with a couple thick slices of Parmesan Potato Bread and the two together were delicious.
White Bean, Kale and Pancetta Soup
(makes 8 servings)
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 5 oz pancetta, chopped
- 6 medium carrots, sliced thin
- 1 large head kale, rinsed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 45 oz. cannellini beans
- 30 oz. chickpeas
- 4 russet potatoes, softened and cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 cups baby sweet corn
- 16 cups (128 oz.) chicken stock
- 3 sprigs rosemary, ground
- 4 sprigs thyme, ground
- 2 sprigs oregano, ground
- 5 leaves sage, ground
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lemon, zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmigiano-reggiano, grated for garnish
- italian parsley, chopped for garnish
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a saute pan. Cook and cover the onions and carrots until soft, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grind the fresh spices in a food processor or grinder.
- Add the pancetta, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a 10 qt. pot and add the cannellini beans, chickpeas, kale, bay leaf, potatoes, corn, and chicken stock.
- Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to the lowest setting to simmer for 4-5 hours.
- Garnish with parsley and parmigiano-reggiano.