OK, by the time I was done with it, my version of this soup was quite nearly a stew, but it was still yummy. Four different recipes for a White Bean & Kale Soup were swirling around in my head when I went into the garden to see what I could find. This one looked especially appealing but unfortunately I didn’t have all the ingredients.
The ‘Dinosaur‘ or ‘Covolo Laciniato Nero Di Toscana Precoce‘ kale was easy. It loves this kind of winter weather and puts out dozens of long, dark green fingers from a tall central spike. My ‘Tokyo Market‘ turnips surprised me with fat white globes sitting atop the soil with nothing but their skinny taproots in the ground. And, this year at least, we finally have carrots! Last year by this time they had all been eaten, but we have 12 square-feet of carrots and parsnips still in the ground waiting for a recipe like this. The rosemary bushes are also content to grow straight through the winter here, so I pulled off a tender branch to flavor my vegetable stash.
Inside I had been soaking the ‘Jacob’s Cattle‘ beans we grew over the summer. They were the closest thing to a white been that I had. This year I plan to grow Cannellini and at least one other white variety, but for now, we’re making do with what’s on hand. Might need to call this one “Pink Bean & Kale.”
I sautéed an onion in olive oil for a few minutes then added the carrots and turnips. While the vegetables were softening, I stemmed the kale and chopped it fairly fine. I also cut up some nice chicken Italian sausage with the perfect amount of fennel in it that just squeaked over the 100 mile Dark Days Challenge line in time to join us for this meal. I tossed the sausage and kale with the softened vegetables and added the chopped rosemary leaves. As soon as the kale started to brighten and wilt, I added in the now cooked beans and simmered the whole concoction on low for about an hour to marry the flavors some.
Before serving, I added fresh ground pepper and my husband insisted on dusting his bowl with Parmesan as he would with Minestrone. The whole family approved, which was a nice surprise as I had been expecting the little one to turn her nose up at the fenneled Italian sausage. Instead, I caught her scooping some out of my bowl when I wasn’t looking!