Italian Butter Bean Soup
You can put any vegetable in this soup—whatever’s in season—and it’ll be delicious.
1½ cups Italian butter beans (about
9 ounces), rinsed
8 cups vegetable stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh marjoram or oregano
3 fresh sage leaves
6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
plus more for garnish
1 large yellow onion, chopped
(about 2 cups)
¾ teaspoon salt (plus, to taste)
Pepper (2 pinches, plus to taste)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1
1 medium red pepper, diced (about
1∕3 cup white wine
10 kale leaves, ribs removed, cut in
thick ribbons (about 3 cups)
Serves 8. Per serving (1 cup): 200 calories, 3 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 10 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 300 mg sodium
1. Place the rinsed beans in a pot, cover generously with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to soak for 1 to 2 hours. Drain the beans and rinse well.
2. Combine 6 cups of vegetable stock, the beans, herb sprigs and leaves, and the bay leaf in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are cooked all the way through and beginning to break apart, about 1½ hours.
3. While the beans are cooking, heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the onion, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook over medium heat until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the carrots, red peppers, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper and cook about 10 minutes, adding a little stock as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Pour in the wine and cook until the pan is nearly dry, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the vegetables to the soup pot, along with the remaining stock, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper and cook until the flavors begin to come together, about 20 minutes. Add the kale and cook until tender, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the bay leaf, herb sprigs and sage. Serve in warm bowls and drizzle a little olive oil over each serving.