Even vegetable stews can have more vegetables. This recipe adds a pound of kale -- that's right, a full pound -- to softened onions, carrots and celery, combined with beans and tomatoes. It's simply a matter of bringing the other vegetables together in a simmer, then adding the kale and topping with the toast. The whole dish bakes in the oven for a few minutes to brown the toast with a little Parmesan.
TOTAL TIME About 50 minutes .
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans
1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 pound chopped kale or escarole
4 large, thick slices whole-grain bread, toasted
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5 to 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Drain the beans; if they’re canned, rinse them as well. Add them to the pot along with tomatoes and their juices and stock, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so the soup bubbles steadily; cover and cook, stirring once or twice to break up the tomatoes, until the flavors meld, 15 to 20 minutes.
Fish out and discard rosemary and thyme stems, if you like, and stir in kale. Taste and adjust seasoning. Lay bread slices on top of the stew so they cover the top and overlap as little as possible. Scatter red onion slices over the top, drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Put the pot in the oven and bake until the bread, onions and cheese are browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. (If your pot fits under the broiler, you can also brown the top there.) Divide the soup and bread among 4 bowls and serve.
YIELD 4 servings
Originally published with Stew Season Gets a New Star
February 19, 2014