White Bean & Kale Tomato Soup
I love this protein packed soup, especially for rainy days. It requires minimal effort and you can sit around in your sweatpants while the house fills with the comforting smell of tomatoes and garlic. The soup reheats well and is easy to bring for lunch during the day.
Sometimes expectations are hard to fulfill even when they pertain to a rainy day. On the East Coast a rainy day means that you will get a full day of rain. Oh, it might let up to a drizzle for a bit but you can always expect a full day of rain. In Southern California rain is different, as we barely get any at all (hence the massive drought) but it also doesn’t last for very long when it does rain. I wake up to grey skies with the expectation of a lazy rainy Sunday watching football or Netflix on the couch in my favorite sweatpants and oversize cashmere sweater, only to look over an hour or two later to see a bright blue sky. Don’t get me wrong, I love the consistent sunny days, but every once and a while you need a grey, rainy day to recharge without any guilt for not leaving the house all day.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (12-ounce) cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 (packed) cups chopped curly kale, ribs removed
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for an additional minute.
Add the beans, tomatoes with the liquid from the can and vegetable broth. Stir in the bay leaf, basil, oregano and red pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Add the kale and continue to simmer until the kale is tender, about an additional 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve: ladle into soup bowls and serve topped with Parmesan cheese.