So looking for inspiration, I turned to those girls from Big Girls Small Kitchen (I’m so jealous of them). I was looking for a soup to warm me up as the wintry mix falls outside the window, plus I wanted something to have for lunch the next day. I came across a recipe called Parmesan, White Bean and Kale Soup with Torn Pasta. I decided to make my own adaptations, and present you with that version, although here’s the link to the original:
Anyways, this was so easy to throw together, once I figured it out. It takes about an hour to cook, start to finish and doesn’t require many ingredients. I think this is one of my first recipes in a while that doesn’t require sauteed garlic or onions. Very little prep – you need a can opener, a small cutting board and a knife. It does require 2 pots – but one is to cook the kale, and so once you’re done, a quick rinse out right away should do the trick.
I like this recipe as it has quite a lovely flavor – not dull as a lot of simple soups can be. I think a lot of credit can be given to the Parmesan rind. I love Parmesan rinds in soups 1) because of the flavor they add and 2) they make a delicious snack while cooking when you take it out of the broth. All of my rinds are from cheese blocks I’ve used, and so I always leave a little extra cheese on the rind before I freeze it, that way when I’m using it again, I can pull off the softened cheese with a fork, a nice little treat!
2 14oz cans of chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 Parmesan rind
1 bunch of kale
1 14oz can of white beans
1 cup or so of dry pasta, bite size
Freshly ground pepper
Bring to a boil the chicken broth and Parmesan rind, and then simmer for 45-60 minutes, covered.
In a separate pot, bring to a boil a couple inches of water, add salt, and then drop in the kale. Cook with a lid for about 10 minutes or so until the kale is soft. Remove from water and allow to cool. When cool, cut off the stems and cut the remaining kale into bite size pieces. Keep to the side.
After about 45 minutes or so, remove the cheese rind (put it to the side on a plate so you can eat it while you’re waiting for the pasta to cook) from the broth, and add the pasta. Cook the pasta in the broth as directed on the box. With about five minutes to go on the pasta, add the can of un-drained white beans and the kale, allowing them to heat. You don’t want to add the beans too early or they can tend to get too mushy. Once the pasta has cooked and the beans and kale are warmed, add pepper to taste. I think the pepper gives it a good finish.
I have to admit, when I started putting this recipe together I was half-regretting the use of my Parm rind, and was counting on the rind to being the best part. I was wrong! I really enjoyed the flavors of this soup, the beans providing protein, the kale, a serving of veggies, and the pasta adds substance. I used Pipe Rigate (leftover from last week’s cauliflower goat cheese pasta), and I found that the beans found their way into the pasta openings. I can see that some people might find the soup a bit too salty, or too high in sodium (they are really cracking down people’s daily consumption of sodium these days), I think that you wouldn’t loose any flavor with the reduced sodium broth or vegetable broth. This makes about 2-3 servings, depending on how big your bowls are!