This savory Tuscan white bean soup is hearty, flavorful and totally meal-worthy! Serve topped with crunchy kale chips for extra flavor and texture.
It’s December 9th and I’ve still got dino kale growing in my back yard. Growing. Not just hanging out there, but living, developing, and some might even say thriving. As a first time vegetable gardener this is kind of amazing to me. We’ve gotten several coatings of snow and had temperatures dip into the teens, which killed off everything else (although the mint did put up a good fight). A couple of weeks ago, on Thanksgiving, I went outside to harvest what I thought would be the last few leaves for a smoothie, in the hopes of mitigating all the pie I’d be introducing into my system later in the day. Since then I’ve gotten more leaves. Granted, they aren’t as monstrous as the ones I picked in mid-summer, but they are new and bright green and as tasty as ever. Amazing.
I figure with kale being such a great survivor and all, it must be pretty darn healthy. You know, like it transfers some of it’s resilience onto those who consume it. I’m hoping that’s the case, because I can get to feeling seriously beat this time of year.
Over the summer when I had more of this stuff than I could handle, I passed some off to my brother, who informed me that dino kale (a.k.a., Tuscan or lacinato kale) makes the best chips. I decided to give it a shot, and what better way to use some Tuscan kale chips than in some Tuscan white bean soup?
I’m not sure how this all sounds to you, but my husband was dubious. He tasted the soup, tasted a chip, and confirmed that both were delicious. I told him the chips were to go in the soup and he gave me a sort of “You eat your soup your way, I’ll eat my soup my way” brush off, before giving in on the basis that if I was going to blog it, he’d better taste test it in blog form. After that he ended up eating the whole bowl with chips sprinkled on top. Both the chips and the soup are better that way. The chips kind of float on top of the soup, with the edges becoming lightly saturated, so you get the crunchy and the tender. A big festive kale party in your mouth.
Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale Chips
For the Tuscan Bean Soup
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3-14 oz. cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
For the Kale Chips
- 1/2 lb. lacinato kale could sub curly kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
Make the Tuscan Bean Soup
Heat olive oil in large saucepan or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrot and celery. Continue to sauté for 3 minutes more.
Add broth, beans, tomatoes, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Veggies should be tender at this point.
Working in as many batches as needed, transfer half of soup to food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot and mix with remaining soup.
Ladle into bowls and top with kale chips.
Make the Kale Chips
Preheat oven to 300°. Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment.
In medium bowl, toss kale with olive oil, salt and pepper, until evenly coated. Arrange in an even layer on parchment lined baking sheet(s).
Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes, gently flipping about half way through cooking.