Pasta and Bean Soup with Kale, Revisited

By • September 30, 2009 • 1 Comments


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Makes 4-6 main course servings

  • 1 1/2 cup pinto or cranberry beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken stock (homemade or low sodium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • leaves from 2 small sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • leaves from 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 large sage leaves
  • salt
  • 12.5 ounces can chopped tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 cup loosely packed white bread (use a Tuscan or French loaf and tear the inside into chunks, discarding crust for another use)
  • 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes, with the juices
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups roughly chopped kale leaves (no stems)
  • 4 ounces small dried pasta wuch as trofie, tubetti or macaroni
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly grated parmesan
  1. Put the beans in a large pot and add enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the beans for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the beans soak for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans, and return them to the pot. Add the chicken stock, 3 cups of water, the garlic, herbs and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently for about an hour, until the beans start to become tender but still have a firm-ish bite.
  3. Meanwhile, use a fork to mash together the bread and the canned tomatoes in a medium bowl. Set aside while the beans are cooking. Then, add this mixture, the chopped tomatoes, red chili flakes and black pepper to taste. Cover the pot, and simmer gently until the beans are fully tender, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the bread from sticking to the bottom of the pot. (If the soup seems too thick at any point, just add more water.) While the soup is cooking, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  4. When the beans are cooked, stir the kale into the soup and continue to simmer. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. When the pasta is just al dente, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the soup. (At this point, you should not cook the soup any longer, as the kale will begin to brown, and the pasta will turn to mush.) Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in warm bowls with a drizzle of good olive oil, a sprinkling of grated parmesan and toasted bread for dunking.

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almost 2 years ago GMA8.5

Sorry that I've taken so long to write. I remember my days with infants so vividly. I have never before or since been so fatigued, much as I loved the other parts. I am now filling my freezer for the mother of my 9th grandchild. Anyway, there's no need to fool around too much with dried beans. I discovered then (slow cookers were just becoming popular) that you can just put a cup of beans in the cooker and 2 cups of water and cook on high for 3 hours or so. You can do it on low overnight - always works, just use a little extra water.. Stephanie might be able to give some suggestions about what seasonings to put in at this point -- I always wait to add salt or acid (were these old wives' tales or not?) to make sure the beans soften. Best to all babies and moms - Theresa (www.gma85.com).