Tuscan White Bean and Kale Stew

This seems like such a basic and simple soup that I hesitated to give it a whirl.  I was pleasantly surprised at its depth of flavors and how easy it was to put together.  We were all surprised at how it made the whole house smell like a Thanksgiving day dinner.  If you don’t have fresh rosemary, consider going and splurging on a plant.  Of all the herbs I have ever tried to grow, rosemary has always been low maintenance and extremely resilient.  Dried herbs are nice to use in a pinch, but there is nothing like fresh rosemary in this soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried cannellini beans or other dried white beans
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 5 Cups vegetable stock
  • 1 T chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Rinse and pick over white beans and then cover with water and soak overnight in the refrigerator.  (Quick soak method – cover with boiling water and let sit for one hour.)  Drain and rinse the soaked beans and place in the slow-cooker.

2.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to lightly brown and soften, 5 to 8 minutes.

3.  Add the garlic, tomatoes and kale and cook for an additional 1 minute.

4.  Add the vegetables to the slow cooker.  Add the vegetable stock and rosemary to the slow cooker and stir.

5. Turn the slow cooker onto high and allow to cook for 6-8 hours.

6.  Add the balsamic vinegar and season the stew with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

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