Tuscan Kale and White Bean Minestrone
- 1 carrot, cut into small dice
- 1 stalk celery, cut into small dice
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp ground fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 2 ½ cups (625 ml) chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups (375 ml) strained tomatoes
- ½ lb (225 g) Tuscan kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped (see note)
- 1 recipe cooked white beans and its cooking water
- 6 slices country bread, toasted (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, soften the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and spices in the oil for about 10 minutes. Add the broth, strained tomatoes, kale and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the soup thickens. Adjust the seasoning.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper. Serve with the toasted bread, if desired.
Tuscan kale, or black kale, has dark green textured leaves and is very popular in Florentine cooking. If unavailable, use standard kale in the same quantity. To save time, you can use one can (19 oz/540 ml) of white beans, rinsed and drained, plus 2 cups (500 ml) of water.