hearty tuscan kale and bean soup with gnocchi

Saturday afternoon. Boyfriend says for dinner: I want soup. I say: too spring for soup. Soup is cold food. He is unphased.

Weather reminds me winter never stops coming. I think maybe sandwiches will make this less depressing. Overpay for Iberico ham. There are only 4 slices in package. 

But still I make the soup. He declares soup is best ever. Maybe the best of any food ever made. Lots of textures, he says. The perfect bite is created. He prefers it to both chili-flavored ramen and chili in general. This is a tall order.

After two reheatings to eat more of the soup, accidentally leave leftover soup out on stove overnight. Sadness is heard for miles.

 

RECIPE

Effortful time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes 
Serves: 6-8

YOU NEED

  • An entire bag of Tuscan kale

  • 16 oz. leeks, chopped (I use frozen pre-sliced from TJ's)

  • Approx 30 baby carrots, chopped

  • 1 16 oz. package of mini gnocchi

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 48 oz. chicken stock (you can use broth, but it'll be thin -- I used Better than Bouillon)

  • 1/2 cup dry sherry

  • A drizzle of garlic olive oil

  • Thyme

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Salt + pepper

  • Parmesan-Romano cheese

MAKE IT

  1. Empty the leeks into a huge dutch oven (I pulled out the 7 1/2 qt for this one) and heat on low. Cover so they defrost.

  2. Drizzle the now-thawed leeks with garlic olive oil and toss in the pan. Add the carrots, herbs, salt, and pepper. You can throw a smashed garlic clove in here if you want.

  3. Pour in all the stock and the sherry and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and add the majority of the kale. Stir in, then cover again. 

  4. After 20 minutes, add the beans to the pot and stir. Check the salt level and re-spice if necessary. If your liquid looks low, add more wine.

  5. With 5 minutes left to go, add the gnocchi. Mini gnocchi are best for this because the size works better with the beans. For some reason most normal grocery stores have them; most gourmet stores do not.

  6. Pull off the heat and sprinkle in cheese. Stir in, then add cracked pepper. Serve with softer bread like sour batard (lol batard) or pugliese. 

  7. It is hearty. It matches Game of Thrones marathon. It also matches the Cote du Rhone you are drinking from the bottle medieval-style.