Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup
Adapted from Martha Stewart
In this adaptation of an escarole and white bean soup from Martha Stewart, kale and cannellini beans simmer in chicken broth with lightly browned garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Using canned beans makes it come together in about 45 minutes, and a garnish of crispy Parmesan toasts and additional grated Parm ups the umami level.
For the Parmesan toasts:
- 8 to 12 thin baguette slices
- 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
For the soup:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 small bunches flat kale, large stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
To make the Parmesan toasts:
1Heat the broiler. Top each baguette slice with 2 teaspoons of the Parmesan cheese and place on a baking sheet.
2Broil until the cheese is bubbly and the toasts are crisp, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
To make the soup:
1Set a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil. When it’s warm, add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s a very pale brown, about 3 minutes (be careful not to let the garlic get too dark or it’ll have a bitter taste). Add the drained beans, thyme, red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and kale. Raise the heat to medium high and bring the soup to a simmer. Adjust the heat to achieve a steady, gentle simmer and cook until the kale is soft but not mushy, about 25 minutes. Season with black pepper and taste, adding salt if needed.
2Ladle the soup into warmed serving bowls. Top each with a couple of baguette toasts (or serve on the side) and a sprinkling of the reserved Parmesan.
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