One-Pot Wonders

Missy Robbins' Speedy Kale & White Bean Stew

March  6, 2018
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

The first thing you’ll notice about this stew is that you can cook and serve it in about the time it would normally take for you to sauté greens. The second is that the broth is made from a second-string ingredient that other recipes tend to leave behind—the discarded juice from canned tomatoes. If you’re irked right now that you want to make this stew and don’t have a stash of leftover juice on hand—don’t worry, Missy Robbins and I thought of that! She also allows for tomato passata (also labelled strained tomatoes), a similarly thick, rich tomato puree sold by the bottle or box. Or you can do as I’ve been doing lately: Buy the cans of tomatoes for the juice, then hang onto the tomatoes for dinner later in the week (or freeze them). Adapted slightly from Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner... Life (Rizzoli, 2017). To read the full story, head here. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
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Missy Robbins' Speedy Kale & White Bean Stew
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale or 2 small ones
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chile flakes
  • 2 cups juice from two 28-ounce cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (save the tomatoes for another use) or tomato passata
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Remove the leaves from the woody stems of the kale and wash leaves. Save the stems for another use.
  2. Heat a shallow saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pan and sweat until aromatic but not browned. Add the chile flakes.
  3. Rip the kale leaves into rough, 2-inch pieces and add to the pan. Lightly sweat until well-coated in the oil and starting to wilt, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the San Marzano juice and cook the kale until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. If using passata and the juice is too thick, add a cup of water, which will evaporate as it cooks. The kale will also release a bit of water.
  5. Add the cannellini beans to the kale just to heat them through.
  6. Season with the salt, stir to incorporate, and taste. Add more salt if necessary.
  7. Transfer the kale into a large serving bowl or two soup bowls and top with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

19 Reviews

Nancy April 14, 2019
Perfect for a cold and rainy Spring evening. Goes well with a Parmesan panini and Malbec
Ann September 14, 2018
Hi—This keeper, as well as all the Food 52 Recipes I want to print out recently, won’t. Still a large black star everywhere. What gives? I’ve never had a problem in the past.
Please help.
I love this stew and have made it frequently. Rather than using the juice from canned tomatoes, I have been using vegetable juice. It provides extra vitamins, tastes great, and there are no tomatoes to deal with afterwards!
Karen L. April 17, 2018
Good, hearty soup! I added another can of red kidney beans as well as half the stewed tomatoes, to make it chunkier. Also added a tsp of cumin. So easy and delicious!
Sandy O. April 10, 2018
This is ribollita, the Tuscan standby. All the basics: cavallo nero, canellini and vegetable stock. Plus leftovers and kept on the back burner. Ribollita means “re-boiled” in Italian.
verborgenheit October 28, 2020
I am curious if ribollita requires stale bread too or if that's just optional?
Josho April 10, 2018
Given recent discoveries, it makes more sense to wash the kale AFTER, not BEFORE, it's chopped into smaller pieces (unless you're looking for a stronger bitter note to the soup). Cutting kale generates bitter compounds (the cell walls are broken by cutting, which activates the enzymes that create bitterness). Washing after cutting gets rid of a lot of the bitter compounds generated by the cutting.
Debby March 15, 2018
I made this soup for lunch today. (along with a frittata) It was easy and quick. Although I always have San Marzano tomatoes in my pantry, I wanted to use some bone broth that I made several days ago, along with a pinch of tomato paste. The parmigiano was a wonderful addition. Thanks for this recipe, quick and easy.
Mary W. March 12, 2018
And to add more protein (and taste), you could add some hot Italian
sausage ... omitting the red pepper flakes.
karencooks March 10, 2018
Easy and delicious Lenten meal!
Myriam G. March 7, 2018
Why save the tomatoes? Can’t I chop them up and add them into this soup/stew?
Kristen M. March 7, 2018
Sure, if you like, go for it—it will just be heartier and stewier. This is a very flexible recipe.
ardnasmoo March 7, 2018
Lynne Rosetto Kasper has a wonderful recipe for oven-roasted canned tomatoes (Pelati al Forno) in her cookbook, The Italian Country Table. Two genius meals in one can!
Arthur J. March 7, 2018
Am I the last person on earth to embrace kale? Its seems unescapable. I live in Virginia, where collards are readily available. They are green and bitter. Don't they count too? You don't have to own a gun to enjoy them. Can I interchange cooked collards for cooked kale in recipes??? I pressure cook collards with a turkey neck. Delish!
David K. March 7, 2018
I'm a small-scale farmer in PA, and in our little patch of Paradise, not too many people have tasted collards. I tell them to think of it as Plantation Kale.
Arthur J. March 7, 2018
thanks for the reply. I also am from PA. I never but never ate a collard in the Keystone State. But then again we didn't eat anything that the cook didn't like herself personally. And she didn't like much. Luckily, we have mountains of collards here in virginia. Kale is not particularly plentiful.
Someone23 October 4, 2023
This is.. wildly inappropriate/borderline racist-y/insensitive/triggering to black people that may be reading. Like me.
Someone23 October 4, 2023
This is.. wildly inappropriate/borderline racist-y/insensitive/triggering to black people that may be reading. Like me.
Someone23 October 4, 2023
What does a gun have to do with anything…..