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Kale, Fennel and White Bean Soup with Parmesan Croutons

4 to 6 Servings

1¼ hours

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We love ribollita, the rustic, hearty Tuscan meal in a bowl. But for this recipe we wanted a lighter vegetable and bean soup, one that kept the focus on the freshness of the ingredients. So we took out the stale bread that’s simmered into ribollita to thicken it and instead made some crisp, craggy croutons that we tossed with grated Parmesan and scattered on top of individual bowlfuls. This soup uses water instead of broth; the flavor backbone comes from the aromatics as well as from the umami-rich tomato paste and the chunk of Parmesan rind that’s simmered in the mix.

4 to 6

Servings

Tip

Don’t discard the stems from the kale. Chop them and reserve separately from the leaves. We sauté the stems with the onion and fennel to bolster the soup’s green, minerally flavor. Lacinato kale is sometimes sold as Tuscan kale, dinosaur kale or cavolo nero. Also, drain but don’t rinse the beans. The starchy liquid that clings to them lends body to the broth.

1¼ hours

Ingredients

  • 8

    ounces rustic bread, torn into bite-size pieces (4 cups)

  • 4

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

Directions

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