Aired February 19, 2013
1 pound cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 cups water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 rosemary sprigs
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish
1 fat garlic clove, minced
Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Large pinch salt
1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons water or more as needed
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Combine all the soup ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, until the beans are tender.. Remove rosemary stems (the leaves will have mostly fallen off into the soup and thats okay.) Using an immersion blender, very roughly pure the soup just enough to thicken it. There should still be plenty of texture and big pieces of carrots and whole beans. Alternatively, pure half the soup in a blender and return it to the pan. Add more salt to taste if needed.
Just before serving, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic, red pepper, and salt and saut for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the kale and saut until it starts to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the water and continue to cook until the kale is very tender and the water evaporates, about 2 minutes longer. If all the water evaporates before the kale is tender, add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time.
Stir the kale mixture into the soup. Serve bowls of the soup topped with plenty of parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.