Bean me up, Scotty

Second: I’m just going to say that cooking with dried beans is certainly a labour of love… I soaked them for 8 hours on Saturday and they still had to cook for another 2+ hours to soften, but the end result is fabulous. I’d do it again for sure.

Cavolo Nero and Cannellini Bean Soup

  • Yield Serves 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds cavolo nero (also called Tuscan kale), stemmed and coarsely chopped (I bought a bag of pre-chopped boerenkool, which made my life a lot easier)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (I added more)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (same here)
  • 1 dried red chile, crumbled (be careful here, my soup ended up with a lot of heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (I forgot these)
  • 4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock (I used sodium free vegetable bouillion)
  • 8 ounces dried cannellini beans, soaked according to package instructions (I used dry, as mentioned)
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) (I used 2)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 loaf Tuscan bread (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and toasted (I skipped bread all together)


  1. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add kale; cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Plunge kale into ice bath. Drain. I didn’t do this. I did boil it quickly but then I just ran it under cold water.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chile, and fennel seeds; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in stock, beans, and tomato. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Add kale in the last 5-10 minutes if you want it more tender.

Image and recipe: Whole Living


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