This soup was inspired by a recipe for minestrone in one of my favorite cookbooks, the Moosewood Collective's Sundays at Moosewood (Fireside, 1990). The kale adds energy-boosting vitamins and minerals, while the beans provide a simple protein base.
2 cups kale, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic
3 cups cooked cannelloni beans
2 1/2 cups stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper, freshly ground
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pecorino cheese, freshly grated
Wash kale, remove stems from leaves. Roll up leaves and cut in thin ribbons. Set aside. In a soup pot, heat olive oil and briefly sauté garlic. Add about half the cooked beans and part of the stock. Purée remainder of beans and stock in blender, along with tomato paste and sage. Stir puréed beans into soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix kale into soup and simmer until kale has wilted (10 to 15 minutes). Add lemon juice and enough water to give soup the desired consistency. Season to taste. Serve topped with grated pecorino cheese.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Makes 3-4 servings
Note: 3 cups canned or previously cooked beans can be used instead. This will cut total preparation time to 30 minutes.