Creamy Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup

Cannelini Bean & Kale Soup

Hang  ’em first, try ’em later.
Judge Roy Bean

I’m always inspired by Frances Mayes when I read her books and I have saved several recipes scattered throughout her books on Italy. A quick and delicious hearty soup and a pretty adaptable version simmering away just waiting for some pepper and grated cheese. Of course this is not the exact recipe that I used…adaptable is the key word.

My version, using the same basic ingredients and a few more plus a slightly different cooking process than the following recipe suggests as I always look for ways to get more flavor into plain soups, my version follows the original recipe.

Great fall and winter weather dinner.  Amazing and better the second day.

Cannellini Bean Soup Ingredients – Frances May Version

2- (She says) I say 3-Italian sausages, skins removed and meat crumbled
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

*optional minced red and yellow pepper

2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 fresh bay leaf
6 thyme sprigs
1 bunch of kale, peel kale away from center tough ribs, wash
and chop
4 cups cooked cannellini beans (6 ounces of dried beans soaked 6-7 hours)

Sauté the crumbled sausage in the oil until browned, and reserve. Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Deglaze with some white wine.

Add to the chicken stock in a big pot. Add the wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated, then add the thyme and kale. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cooked sausage and the beans and simmer another 15 minutes.

Rosemary’s version of Cannellini bean soup

Presoak cannellini beans according to package directions.

Drain soaked beans add to soup pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Toss in one large whole peeled carrot, 2 whole cloves of peeled garlic, 1 washed rib of celery, and 1 half peeled onion. Add some of the fresh thyme leaves and a little crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to boil and then turn down to a low and simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Remove softened vegetables from beans, chop and put back into pot of beans. Add the chicken broth to the beans and simmer for 5 minutes.

While the beans are simmering, sauté sausage in about a tablespoon of EVOO along with the minced onions and optional minced red and yellow pepper, add the minced garlic for the last-minute or so. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage pan ingredients and add to the beans. If necessary remove all but a tablespoon of sausage fat and deglaze pan with about ½ cup wine and add the chopped kale, drizzle a little EVOO over add pinches of red pepper flakes and cook down until it just collapse. Add to pot of beans. Simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes and serve piping hot. Serve with garlic bread, freshly grated cheese, pepper and salt if necessary.