Ever since I tried a kale white bean stew, I'd wanted to recreate one at home. Unlike the common versions, the soup for my family had to be tomato-free but still flavorful. (Tomato sauce and tomatoes are used too frequently in legume soups.) In my initial attempts, I used leeks instead of onions, and that helped create a creamier and more refined flavor. I then turned to my favorite cookbooks for inspiration and found a perfect fix of parmesan rind and rosemary. For sure, a generous amount of parmesan rind, rosemary and thyme infused the stew with a rich creamy flavor. Try this hearty Kale White Bean Stew! It's easy, budget-friendly and nutritious and may become your cold weather staple! (My favorite inspiration sources were The New York Times and Eating From the Ground Up.) Finally, if finding cannellini beans at your grocer's has been challenging, you can purchase organic grown from this vendor, and conventionally grown on Amazon.
Drain and rinse presoaked beans. Place them in a Dutch oven and add 8 cups water. Bring to boil, skimming off foam. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Then drain the beans. Add cold water covering the beans up to 1.5 inch over. Add bay leaf, Parmesan rind or pieces, rosemary and garlic. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low. Continue cooking until the beans are very soft, for at least 1.5 hours.
Half-way through cooking, stir in 2.5 to 3 cups broth from 3 broth cubes.
Remove rosemary stems (but not leaves), bay leaf and garlic.
Meanwhile, warm up olive oil in a large skillet. Add leek and thyme (if using) and simmer, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until soft. Stir in kale and 5 tablespoons water. Simmer until wilted, for 5 minutes.
Now discard thyme (if using). Stir in kale, leeks, salt and pepper into the beans and simmer for 25 minutes, or until kale softens.
Enjoy the Kale White Bean Stew warm.