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Cavolo Nero and Cannellini Bean Soup


A solid Tuscan-style soup includes an Italian variety of kale, cavolo nero, that has crinkly leaves and a near-spicy bite (look for the green at farmers' markets or gourmet groceries); the dish gets significant protein from cannellini beans.

  • Servings: 6

Photography: Yunhee Kim

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2006


  • 1 1/2 pounds cavolo nero (also called Tuscan kale), stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 dried red chile, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 8 ounces dried cannellini beans, soaked according to package instructions
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 loaf Tuscan bread (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and toasted


  1. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add kale; cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Plunge kale into ice bath. Drain.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chile, and fennel seeds; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

  3. Stir in stock, beans, and tomato. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

  4. Add kale and reserved cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Divide bread and soup among 4 bowls.

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