This is a recipe I adapted from one of the food magazines (I think Gourmet). When I could not find kale, I have used the coarse leaves of dark green cabbage. Rachel Ray has a really fast version of this kind of hearty soup where she uses a loaf of Italian bread to thicken it up. Yum.
1 lb. dried great northern, cannelli or navy beans
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 quarts water
1/2 cup vermouth or white wine
1 3×2 inch parmigiano-reggiano rind
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage (ideally kielbasa) sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 carrots, halved and cut in 1/4 inch pieces
1 lb. kale (lacinato), with stems and center ribs discarded and coarsely chopped
» Soak beans overnight.
» Bring beans to boil and remove from heat to sit for 1 hour
» Cook onions and garlic in olive oil at the bottom of your soup pot, then add beans, chicken broth, 1 quart water, wine/vermouth, carrots, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary. Simmer uncovered for approx. 50 minutes.
» Brown sausage in pan and drain.
» Stir in kale, sausage, and 1 quart water. Simmer until kale is tender, approx. 10-15 minutes.
» Season to taste
» Like many soups, this recipe is even better if you make it a day or two in advance and refrigerate. Reheat and serve.