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Author Notes: My friend Kate came over for dinner one night with some roasted goat bones--leftovers from a party at a local farm. I had some stale cornbread, a pound of kidney beans, a can of tomatoes, and a bunch of kale. We decided to improvise a dinner around these ingredients: the bones became a rich stock, which then turned into a hearty bean and kale soup with crunchy cornbread croutons. It was the perfect meal for a rainy night.
Since goat bones aren't easy to come by, feel free to use beef stock or even lamb stock instead. You could also make this vegan by using a strong, savory vegetable broth--I imagine mushroom broth would work nicely. —ieatthepeach
For the soup:
- 1 pound dried red kidney beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 medium leek, halved, washed, and sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, or to taste
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 quarts beef, lamb, or goat stock
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 8-10 whole allspice berries
- 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
For the croutons:
- 2 cups cubed stale cornbread
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover, or do a quick soak: place the beans in a large pot with cold water to cover, bring to a vigorous boil, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the soaked beans, and set aside.
- In a stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add carrot, leek, red chili flakes and a pinch of salt, and saute until the carrots are soft and the leeks are translucent, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute an additional minute or two. Add tomatoes and wine and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the wine has reduced and the liquid in the pan has thickened. Add soaked beans, stock, thyme, bay leaf, allspice and Parmesan rind (if using). Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and skimming off any cloudy white foam that comes to the top.
- Add the kale or collards to the soup. Simmer 1 more hour, or until the beans are fully cooked and the soup has coalesced.
- While the soup simmers, make the croutons. Preheat oven to 400º F, place an oven rack in the middle of the oven, and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss cornbread cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread them on the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cornbread cubes are browned on one side. Turn the cubes over and bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until the croutons are browned and crisp on all sides–they’ll be soft and pillowy inside at first, and turn crunchy as they cool.
- Once the soup is done, remove and discard bay leaf, allspice berries, and Parmesan rind (if using). Ladle soup into bowls, and top each bowl with a handful of croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Leftover soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. The croutons will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Beans
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dark, Leafy Greens
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Autumn Soup