kale, white bean & ravioli soup

serves 6

I’m getting a little ahead of myself with this post because I meant to fill you in on how to make a simple pot of white beans first. Here’s the quick version: Add 1 cup of small white beans to a pot. Cover with 3 cups of water and set overnight to soak. Drain beans and discard soaking water. Add enough fresh cold water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 35 to 40 minutes, adding more water if beans absorb too much before they are fully-cooked. Season with salt, to taste, during last 10 minutes of cooking.

p.s. Whenever serving a soup with grains or pasta, I prefer to cook them separately, unless the whole pot will be consumed in one sitting. Otherwise I find the grains become mushy when stored in the soup leftovers. This is one instance where I don’t mind washing one extra pot. You can store leftover pasta or grains in a covered container in the fridge and add the amount you like to each portion when reheating.

8 cups vegetable broth (I used this bouillon)

6 lacinato kale leaves, ribs removed & thinly sliced

3 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins

1/2-inch thick rind of Parmesan cheese

2 cups cooked small white beans (or one 15-ounce can)

8 ounces frozen mini ravioli, prepared according to package directions

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the broth, kale, carrots and Parmesan rind in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 20 minutes. Add the beans and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, at this point the carrots and kale should be tender.

Stir in the cooked ravioli and cook for 1 minute until pasta is heated through. Ladle into deep soup bowls and season with black pepper before serving.