Cavolo Nero Minestrone

Tuscan kale, lancinato kale, dinosaur kale, black kale. How many names for such a humble green. Tuscan, in particular, is revelatory of its origin, or perhaps of its role in the cuisine of this region. You might have heard of ribollita, a soup made with stale Tuscan bread, beans and cavolo nero. This is a riff on it, made with what I had in hand.

Cavolo Nero Minestrone

serves 4-6
2 cups dried mixed legumes (beans, chickpeas, garbanzos, lentils etc.)
1 big red onion, thinly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 spring of rosemary
8 cups water or vegetable stock
1 bunch cavolo nero, rinsed and chopped
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
3 tsp kosher salt, plus more for serving
1 slice of Tuscan or other country bread per serving

olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan cheese for serving


The night before, soak the beans and chickpeas in cold water. The day you make the soup, drain them and rinse them a couple of times.


In a big pot, heat olive oil over medium fire, add onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, then add beans, chickpeas, lentils and rosemary, cover with water or stock and let cook covered for about 30 minutes. Check the cooking half way through and add more water if needed. Five minutes before it’s done, add cabbage and kale, season with salt and pepper. Tun off the heat. With an immersion blender, give a few pulses to the soup to cream a tiny part of the ingredients and make the liquid part denser. Let the soup cool a bit and, in the meantime, toast the bread slices. Serve soup hot with a drizzle of olive oil, bread, freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.

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1 Comment

  1. la domestique November 30, 2011

    I love love love Tuscan kale! It's fun to see you eat it for each meal of the day.

    Reply

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