White Bean Kale Soup


Adapted from Gywenth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter

Serves: 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 fennel bulb, stems and fronds removed, sliced thinly

3 large garlic cloves, minced

Pinch red chile flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 pints chicken or vegetable stock

Coarse salt

1 bunch of kale, stems disgarded and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces

8 thin slices baguette

1 cup of Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium-heat. Add the fennel and onion and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  At the 25 minute mark add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. The onions and fennel will be slightly carmelized--this is good! 

Add the chile flakes, oregano and pepper and cook for a minute. Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and add salt to taste, and let cook on low heat for 1 hour. Note: I didn't need any extra salt. 

Stir in the kale leaves and let it cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until slightly cooked. Lade into four ovenproof bowls. Float two toasts on each bowl and evenly distribute the cheese. Put the bowls under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly, less than a few minutes.