Friday, November 5, 2010

3 Bean Soup with Kale

I love any sort of bean soup: Brazilian black bean, classic navy bean, Mexican pinto bean, Italian cannellini or middle eastern chickpea-- I love them all, indiscriminately, regardless of their ethnicity-- I'm super open-minded like that.

To this bean soup I added a bunch of chopped kale. It made the soup prettier, tastier and way healthier. My four kids didn't mind the kale a bit and gobbled down the soup, with big crusty wedges of buttered bread, for dinner last night.

Because I always forget to soak my beans over night, and don't like to use canned beans in soups, I am giving this recipe starting with dried beans. If you would rather use canned, do by substituting 4, 14 oz cans beans for the 1 pound dried. Or, if you are really good, soak the beans overnight and start the recipe at step 2.

1 pound/half kilo mixed, dried beans, picked through
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 fat carrot, chopped
1 big baking potato, peeled (or not) and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion (any color), peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (puree)
2 twigs fresh rosemary plus one fresh bay leaf, tied with butchers twine
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cups kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
Stock or water to cover by 3 to 4 inches (several quarts)
14 ounces/380 grams sausage-- any type you like-- I used a smoked sausage, chopped into small pieces

1) Prep the beans: Place them into a large stock pot and cover in water by six inches. Bring to a simmer (not a boil) and cook gently for 1 hour. Drain and begin soup recipe.

2) Place everything except the kale and sausage into a large stock pot. Cover with stock or water by three inches, cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 1 hour this way, then add in the chopped kale and sausage and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Remove the rosemary and bay-leaf, then mash the soup with a potato masher to break everything up slightly, not pureeing it. Taste to see if it needs salt. Serve with crusty bread.

Makes 10-12 servings

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