But don't stress about finding it, any kale will do for this great wintry soup. Or if you're cooking broccoli rabe with me this month, that too.
RECIPE for BEAN & LACINATO KALE SOUP
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes 9 cups
90 MINUTES BEFORE STARTING, PRECOOK THE BEANS
1 pound dried white beans (I used cannellini but Great Northern or navy would work)
Water to cover plus two inches
Add the beans and water to a Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse in a colander.
THE DAY BEFORE SERVING, COOK THE SOUP
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups water
A couple of tablespoons of water (or olive oil, if preferred)
2 large onions, chopped
4 teaspoons or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2x3 inch piece of Parmesan rind (don't skip this!)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (Turkish bay leaves are better than California)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary (or I used 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary broken down in a mortar and pestle)
Bring the broth and 4 cups water to a boil in the microwave. (This is a time-saving trick that can be skipped if there's no rush.) Add the couple tablespoons of water (or olive oil if preferred) to the Dutch oven over MEDIUM HIGH. Add the onion and garlic as they're prepped and let cook til just soft. Add the beans, hot broth and hot water. Add the rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf and rosemary. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to MEDIUM and let simmer until the beans are soft and fully cooked. Let cool and refrigerate overnight.
AN HOUR BEFORE SERVING
4 cups water
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
1 link spicy Italian sausage, optional, cubed (I loved the relatively low-cal spicy chicken Italian sausage from Trader Joe's)
1/2 pound kale, washed well, stems and ribs removed, chopped
Stir water into the soup and return the soup to a boil. Add the carrots. Brown the sausage in a small skillet and add to soup. Add the kale and let cook for about 15 minutes, until carrots and kale are both fully cooked. Serve and enjoy!
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
NEXT TIME I'll use less kale, a pound was too much and fewer beans, maybe a half pound.
The creamy undertones originate with a crusty rind of Parmesan cheese, don't skip it!
Timing for beans is notoriously difficult to predict. The older (drier, actually) the beans, the longer the cooking time. These cooked for more than four hours before they were edible and even then were more chewy than appreciated: lots of fiber, these. Thus, I'd recommend making the soup all the way through the beans one day, not counting on serving it until the next. This way? There'll be no last-minute 1-800-Domino's call.