Cavolo Nero and Cannellini Bean Soup
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.