Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kale Minestrone with Pistou

This recipe comes from Bon App├ętit. The pistou, which is the French word for pesto, is optional in my opinion. It's nice, but the minestrone is excellent all by its lonesome. Definitely use the Parmesan rind.

Ingredients

Minestrone

3 sprigs oregano
3 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped (optional)
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 Parmesan rind (about 2 ounces; optional)
3 cups cooked cannellini beans, cooking liquid reserved if desired, or two 15-oz. cans, rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into ½” pieces
½ bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 1” pieces

Pistou

2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt

Preparation

Minestrone

Tie oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add pancetta, if using, and cook, stirring often, until browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, and red pepper flakes; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and carrots are tender, 10–12 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring to coat, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go, then herb bundle, Parmesan rind, if using, and 6 cups water or reserved bean cooking liquid, or a combination. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender and flavors have melded, 20–25 minutes. Add kale and beans; cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind and herb bundle.

Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead (or 2 months if frozen). Let cool; transfer to airtight containers and chill.

Pistou

Pulse garlic and basil in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in oil, Parmesan, and lemon zest; season with salt.

Serve soup topped with pistou.

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