This recipe sounds like a lot of ingredients, but I normally have a lot of these items on hand in my kitchen. Trust me; it’s really, really worth it!
I absolutely LOVE everything about soup. From making the stock through prepping the veggies, I enjoy it all, but of course the end result with a thick piece of bread or salad makes it the perfect meal! Few things are as comforting as a piping hot bowl of soup or stew to warm the soul on a chilly night or after a day of sledding! I’ve been making this one for several years and have yet to tire of it.
1 t. olive oil
1 c. chopped pancetta, bacon or ham (Note: vegetarians out there-you can certainly eliminate this step & it is still delicious!)
1 lg. red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (add more if you really like garlic like me!)
3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 diced turnip
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1 each: fresh rosemary & thyme sprig (or about a teaspoon of each dried)
2 cups cooked white cannellini beans (canned are fine, or if you can find dried to soak yourself)
2 cans (14oz) diced tomatoes in juice
8 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 loaf Italian bread, very stale or toasted, cut in cubes
1 bunch broccoli rabe
1 c. chopped fresh basil
Grated Parmesan or Asiago
Using a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and brown the pancetta, if using. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 10-15 min. Add the kale, turnip, rosemary and thyme and cook for 10 min. Add beans tomatoes and stock. Lower the heat to low and cook partially covered for 1 hour. Add the bread cubes to pot and push down until they are immersed. Cover, cool partially or completely and refrigerate overnight. Add the broccoli rabe and basil, gently cook until heated through. Garnish with more basil and grated parmesan, if desired.
Notes: I know it sounds weird adding bread to a soup; but it breaks down and “thickens” the soup. It becomes very rich and hearty.
Although I make a lot of my stocks, there are many great ones on the market today. Don’t feel like you have to make one homemade. I just happen to cook a lot and have the ingredients.